Hormone Replacement Therapy: Debate Not Over Yet

Full story: LiveScience 7
The recent news that a precipitous decline in the incidence of breast cancer in the United States might be due to women turning away from hormone replacement therapy has some experts worried that the link ... Full Story
Anne Cole

Suva, Fiji

#1 Jan 7, 2007
I'm 62 yrs old. My family has the cancer gene.
Four of my sisters had cancer and survived.
I have not had cancer. I do not take any type of
medication. I feel that I need to have some sort
of hormone replacement to help me in my day to day
health. I have yearly checks with my gynacologist,
and have a yearly mamograme.
I do feel that I'm slowing down both mentally and physicaly, and wondered if HRT would help me.

Please advise me.
Ball

Hubert, NC

#2 Jan 21, 2007
Life is short. Take the risk because without HRT you also risk cancer and if you are like most women you are probably not really too pleasant to be around especially if you have estrogen dominance.

HRT would probably make you feel better.

Chances are some MD will put you on Paxil and Paxil is much like the other SSRIs is very dangerous. Hormones have risks but they are a safer alternative IMO.

“Transitional Molecular Fossils”

Since: Dec 06

Somewhere in Penn's Woods

#3 Jan 21, 2007
Anne Cole wrote:
I'm 62 yrs old. My family has the cancer gene.
Four of my sisters had cancer and survived.
I have not had cancer. I do not take any type of
medication. I feel that I need to have some sort
of hormone replacement to help me in my day to day
health. I have yearly checks with my gynacologist,
and have a yearly mamograme.
I do feel that I'm slowing down both mentally and physicaly, and wondered if HRT would help me.
Please advise me.
Anne, are you saying your family is positive for the BRCA1 gene?

Have you been tested for the gene? If so, are you BRCA1 positive?

Four sisters have had cancer so you have a very strong family history. First thing you need to do is talk to your sisters about the specifics re: the type of cancer that they have/had, it will all be on the pathology report or you can get the info from their surgeon or oncologist.

First, the type of cancer:

Ductal Carcinoma in Situ; invasive or non-invasive?
Lobular Cancer?

Next, you need the specifics re: the type of cancerous cell.

Was their cancer estrogen-receptor positive? This means that in just the way a key fits a lock, there is a little receptor on the cancerous cell where the estrogen latches right on and fuels the growth of the cancer.

If you have an estrogen receptor positive cancer and you take HRT, you are fueling the fire so to speak.

Was the cancer progesterone receptor positive?

Was the cancer HER2/neu positive?

The HER2/neu gene is a gene that makes the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. The protein produced is HER2/neu antigen, which is involved in the growth of some cancer cells.

There is a lot of information that you need to obtain before you even discuss HRT with your gyne and to be perfectly honest, no competent gyne would EVER prescribe HRT without knowing all of this information.

Good Luck. Be informed, aware, and knowledgeable. Knowledge is power and it can save your life.
Marci

Fort Lee, NJ

#4 Feb 8, 2007
Ball wrote:
Life is short. Take the risk because without HRT you also risk cancer and if you are like most women you are probably not really too pleasant to be around especially if you have estrogen dominance.
HRT would probably make you feel better.
Chances are some MD will put you on Paxil and Paxil is much like the other SSRIs is very dangerous. Hormones have risks but they are a safer alternative IMO.
I hope you are not in the medical field.
Beckyt

San Antonio, TX

#5 Sep 12, 2007
I had Ductal carcinoma In situ ten years ago, with negative hormone receptors. I am now experiencing symptoms of menopause; severe hot flashes. My OB is against prescribing HRT. Any suggestions or anyone willing to write an RX for HRT?
Daisy

Rochester, NH

#6 Sep 13, 2007
There is no definate answer for the HRT conundrum. I was diagnosed in 1995 at 34 years old with invasive breast cancer.That tumor was totally negative for hormone receptors. A few years later I needed a total hysterectomy. The hot flashes and mood swings were debilitating. I argued with my PCP for HRT. All of my doctors were against it. I finally found a gyno that did Bioidentical hormones. She was willing to prescripe HRt but also made me sign a contract that said I wouldn't sue her if I got cancer. She measured the amounts of separate hormones in my blood and the scrpits were tailored to my needs via a compounding pharmacy. The compounded hormones were administerd in a cream that I applied to belly and thighs twice a day. They made a HUGE difference in my quality of life. I used the hormones for only 3 years. I got scared and stopped. Needless to say I was diagnosed again in 8/06. This cancer was a totally new beast. This tumor was hormone receptor positive and her2neu positive and has spread to the lymph nodes. Did my HRT contribute to this cancer? Who knows. I had one Dr say it did and no one else has said a thing. I have no regrets as the quality of my life and that of my young kids was vastly improved while on HRT. According to my current drs I can beat this thing again and I'm working on it.
On a side note, the first time I was diagnosed, six months into my treatment my Mom was diagnosed. This time once again, six months into treatment she was diagnosed again! My Mom has NEVER taken any form of HRT and she has been miserable for years. I am the third generation in my family with this crappy disease. We had the genetic testing done and guess what.....NO GENE MUTATION! Go figure. We have come to the conclusion the whole thing is a crap shoot and we are just really lucky(?).
All this being said, it is an individual decision that you and your family must weigh. And you have to decide on quality of life and the associated risks.There are also herbal remedies for the menopausal symptoms, but they too carry risks. Remember you are the only one living in your skin. No one can tell you how you must deal with this. I hope you find some answers.
Good luck to you and your family.
judy powell

Brentwood, TN

#7 Sep 21, 2007
i need answers trying to go off hrt been on for 10 yrs but oh my god the hot flashes are terrible

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