Recent Newspaper & Online Columns by Kate Scannell MD

A Halloween tale: More chilling news about hormone replacement therapy

November 6, 2010

Tags: hormone replacement therapy, mortality, Feminine Forever, conflict of interest, pharmaceutical promotion, Women's Health Initiative, Robert Wilson

By Kate Scannell, MD, Contributing columnist Bay Area News Group

THE ONGOING saga about hormone replacement therapy is as scary and unsettling a Halloween tale as they come. A sobering new study published Oct. 20 in the Journal of the American Medical Association should end that tale -- though on a chilling note.

The new study comes from researchers with the Women's Health Initiative (WHI). It adds to our trove of disturbing data about the potential hazards of combination hormone replacement therapy -- or "HRT" -- for postmenopausal women. It shows for the first time that, compared to postmenopausal women given placebos, women receiving combined estrogen plus progestin not only experienced a greater incidence of breast cancer, they were also more likely to die from their cancer.

The finding is noteworthy because it sufficiently dispels the prevailing myth that breast cancers occurring in women on HRT are relatively benign and easier to treat. (more…)

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