"Breast cancer is not the only risk of HRT. It also increases dementia, heart disease, stroke, and blood clots.
So the evidence is pretty clear that long term use to prevent the diseases of aging is not a good idea."
Dr. Susan Love, breast cancer expert
Menopause Hormone Use Not Linked with Cognitive Problems -- June 2013
Women who start taking hormone replacement therapy in their early 50s do not appear to be at increased risk of cognitive problems later in life, a new study suggests.
In the study, menopausal woman ages 50 to 55 who took a common form of hormone replace therapyfor about seven years were no more likely to have cognitive problems in their 60s (such as attention and memory problems) than those who took a placebo.
The findings contrast with those of an earlier study that found that women in their mid-60s who took hormone replacement therapy were at increased risk for cognitive problems. More.....
For most women, adjusting to menopause takes time. However, menopause is different for each woman and your journey through this process will be unique.
The Menopause Map is meant for women who are going through menopause or having irregular periods, or had their last period within the last three years. Use it as a guide as you and your health care provider decide the best way to treat your menopausal symptoms.
Revisit the map annually to see how your risks, benefits, and preferences might have changed.
Doctors use hormones more often than prescribe them
Doctors may be more willing to use hormone replacement therapy (HRT), or recommend it to their wives, than to prescribe it to their patients, a study of German gynecologists suggests.
Nearly all were willing to recommend HRT for hot flashes, a typical menopause problem, whether to a partner or a patient. But with other potential uses, there was some disconnect.
For example, 59 percent of the doctors said they would take hormones to ward off osteoporosis, or recommend it to their partners. But of that group, only three-quarters had suggested the same thing to at least some patients. Read full story
New Views Of Hormone Therapy in Menopause
The 25 million American women turning 50 in the next decade face a vexing decision: Hormone replacement therapy? Or not.
There's still no simple answer. For years, estrogen was seen as a fountain of youth that would keep women healthy and sexy long after menopause.
Then in 2002, the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), the big health study, found hormone-replacement therapy could raise the risk of heart disease, stroke and breast cancer. And millions of women put their pills on the shelf. Full Article
For Some in Menopause, Hormones May Be Only Option
For women hoping to combat the symptoms of menopause with nonprescription alternatives like soy and flaxseed supplements, recent studies have held one disappointment after another.
Last week, a clinical trial found that soy worked no better than a placebo for hot flashes and had no effect on bone density. That followed a similar finding about hot flashes from a clinical trial of flaxseed. Full Article (mentions Minnie Pauz)
Landmarks From Two Decades of Study
1991 National Institutes of Health embarks on a study of menopause hormones after observational data suggest that women who use hormones have lower rates of heart disease. Full article
The Mental Chaos of Menopause
When people talk about menopause, it’s usually about the discomfort of hot flashes. But in this week’s New York Times Magazine, a contributor, Cynthia Gorney, explores the mental and emotional challenges that can be set off by the hormonal chaos of midlife.
"I started taking estrogen because I was under the impression that I was going crazy, which turns out to be not as unusual a reaction to midlife hormonal upheaval as I thought…. My problem was a new tendency to wake up some mornings with a great dark weight shoving my shoulders toward the floor and causing me to weep inside my car and basically haul myself around as if it were the world’s biggest effort to stand up straight and carry on a conversation."
Why Are Breast-Cancer Rates Dropping?
"You have breast cancer." Many of us either know someone who has received that diagnosis or have heard those scary words ourselves. Although breast cancer is still the second most common cancer among American women (behind skin cancer), rates have been declining by about 2 percent a year since 1999, after having increased for the previous 20 years. That's good news—but it's also a puzzle that researchers have been trying to solve. If we can find out why fewer women are being diagnosed with this terrible disease, maybe we can find ways to make it even less common and perhaps apply those lessons to other forms of cancer as well.
The latest clue comes in a study to be published next month in the American Journal of Public Health. Harvard researchers analyzed data from more than 350,000 women with breast cancer and concluded that the drop is linked to decreased use of menopausal hormone therapy in the wake of the July 2002 release of data from the Women’s Health Initiative, the massive federal study that was halted early because women on a combination of estrogen and progesterone had an increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease. More
No benefit of HRT on CHD risk in recently menopausal women
Boston, MA - A new analysis of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study has found that, among recently menopausal women, estrogen-plus-progestin hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) slightly increased the risk of coronary heart disease within the first few years of use. But the increase was not statistically significant .
Lead author Dr Sengwee Darren Toh (Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, MA) told heartwire the analysis focused on recently menopausal women "because they are the ones most likely to use HRT." This slightly increased but nonsignificant risk, of around 29% during the first two years of use, disappeared after six years of use, and in fact, after that, the researchers identified a possible cardioprotective effect of HRT in this group of women. More
Hormone replacement won't prevent physical decline
Class Claims Solvay Pharmaceutical Sold Unapproved Menopause Drug for 45 Years By BARBARA LEONARD
Health Advice: Is Low-Dose HRT Safe for Menopause Symptoms? Expert Tracy Gaudet's advice on when to consider low-dose HRT, nonhormonal treatments, By Tracy Gaudet, M.D. for U.S. News & World Report
Tracy Gaudet, M.D.: There are many approaches to menopausal symptoms that can help with this transition. Some of them are hormonal, many are not, and all of these decisions need to be individualized depending on your personal health history, your family history, and the symptoms or issues you are trying to address. In other words, there is no approach that fits all, and having a health provider you trust and who will work with you as you make decisions along this journey is critical. More......
June 2 -- AFTER six years on a prescription estrogen patch that alleviated her hot flashes, but did nothing to address her midlife 25-pound weight gain, Martha B. started searching for a natural alternative to treat her menopausal symptoms.
“When I couldn’t button my size 12 jeans, I just told myself ‘Enough’s enough,’ ” said the 57-year-old teacher who lives in Atlanta and requested that her full name not be used.
Wyeth’s Menopause Hormones Increase Risk of Lung Cancer Deaths By Lisa Rapaport
May 30 (Bloomberg) -- Wyeth’s hormone replacement therapy, a menopause treatment whose use has declined after being linked to heart attack, stroke and breast cancer, increases the risk of death from lung tumors, a study found.
After five years on Wyeth’s Prempro, a combination of the hormones estrogen and progestin, 67 women died from non-small cell lung cancer, compared with 39 on placebo, the research showed. Results of the trial, which examined women age 50 to 79 and included current and former smokers, were presented today at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Orlando.
Bioidentical Hormones: Safer For Hot Flashes Than HRT?
Research suggests they may be a bit safer than conventional hormone therapy, if you proceed cautiously
By Deborah Kotz , March 25, 2009
To take hormones or not to take them? That is the question that plagues women suffering from nasty menopausal symptoms—those hot flashes and night sweats and the severe sleep deprivation and crankiness that come with them. Some women still opt for traditional hormone therapy, like Prempro, estrogen combined with progesterone, given to protect against endometrial cancer which can be triggered by using estrogen alone. But they're told to take the lowest dose for the shortest duration of time to minimize the increased risk of breast cancer associated with postmenopausal hormone use. Read entire report....
The Truth About Hormone Therapy
By ERIKA SCHWARTZ , KENT HOLTORF , and DAVID BROWNSTEIN
Mainstream medicine has been given a wake-up call on a matter critical to the health of 65 million women in the U.S. At issue are the options for treatment of menopause symptoms that cause significant health problems for women in mid-life as their bodies produce fewer hormones. It doesn't seem like a complicated problem, given advances in medical science. Yet hormone-replacement therapy has become a textbook example of how special interests, a confused medical establishment, and opportunists can combine to complicate the issue and deny patients access to safe and effective treatments.
Until seven years ago, women going to conventional doctors were prescribed the FDA-approved synthetic hormone Premarin, derived from the urine of pregnant horses; Provera, a synthetic progestin; or Prempro, a combination of the two. Premarin was the bestselling drug in the U.S. in 2001, generating $2 billion a year for Wyeth. Read complete article
Menopause Hormone Therapy: 'Safe' Time?
New Studies Probe Timing of Hormone Replacement Therapy and Breast Cancer Risk
By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Health NewsReviewed by Louise Chang, MDFeb. 4, 2009 -- New research confirms that taking estrogen plus progestin as hormone replacement therapy for menopausal symptoms raises breast cancer risk, but that risk fades within about two years after quitting hormone therapy.
The findings come from two new studies, one published in The New England Journal of Medicine and the other in Cancer.
Here's what the researchers want women to take away from the findings:
It's still advisable to have hormone therapy only if needed and at the lowest dose for the shortest time to be effective. And women should weigh the pros and cons of hormone therapy in consultation with their doctors.
WILL OTHER STATES FOLLOW?
Nevada AG files suit against hormone therapy drug manufacturers
Tue, Nov 18, 2008 (4:42 p.m.)
Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto filed suit today against Wyeth and Pfizer, two leading manufacturers of hormone therapy drugs commonly prescribed to women after menopause.
The suit alleges that Wyeth's sale of Premarin, Prempro and Premphase, and Pfizer's sale of Provera, involved deceptive trade practices which misled Nevada consumers and physicians about the safety and efficacy of these drugs.
The suit contends that Wyeth and Pfizer intentionally minimized the risks and exaggerated the benefits of taking their hormone therapy drugs, resulting in over-prescribing and a dramatic increase in hormone-positive breast cancers in women after menopause.
"When drug companies purposefully misrepresent the safety and efficacy of their drugs, or promote their drugs in a deceptive way, everybody loses," Masto said. "We're confident we have the facts necessary to prove this case, and we hope this lawsuit and its outcome will deter improper drug company practices in Nevada."
The lawsuit was filed by the Nevada Attorney General's office with White & Wetherall, LLP, a Nevada law firm, and Littlepage Booth, a Texas law firm. These private firms have been litigating similar cases on behalf of individual Nevada women for more than four years, resulting in numerous settlements and a 2007 verdict in Reno on behalf of three women with breast cancer. The verdict is presently on appeal by Wyeth.
Compounded hormone therapies: unproven, untested — and popular
As a growing population of women reaches menopause, physicians may be fielding more questions about compounded hormone therapies — or, more commonly, “bioidentical hormones.”
However, the use of hormone therapies produced by compounding pharmacies is controversial. The controversy centers around the idea that compounded hormone therapies have not been tested and are, therefore, questionable for use. However, the concept of individualized or customized hormone therapy appeals to menopausal or postmenopausal women, and these therapies have caught traction among the public.
Even the term “bioidentical hormones” has taken on a different meaning. The FDA has approved hormones that are bioidentical, or having the exact structure as those produced in the body. However, marketing of compounded hormone therapies as “bioidentical hormones” may lead to confusion over what the term refers to.
Alan Garber, MD, PhD, chief medical editor of Endocrine Today, said that “bioidentical hormone replacement is a clever marketing concept devoid of scientific underpinnings, and preys upon the patient’s desire for better hormonal replacement therapies that are both safe and effective, properties totally unproven by the proponents of such agents.”
Articles do not in any way reflect the opinion of minniepauz.com
CHICAGO — The first follow-up of a landmark study of hormone use after menopause shows heart problems linked with the pills seem to fade after women stop taking them, while surprising new cancer risks appear.
That heart trouble associated with hormones may not be permanent is good news for millions of women who quit taking them after the government study was halted six years ago because of heart risks and breast cancer.
But the new risks for other cancers, particularly lung tumors, in women who'd taken estrogen-progestin pills for about five years puzzled the researchers and outside experts.
The analysis focused on participants' health in the first two to three years after the study's end. During that time, those who'd taken hormones but stopped were 24 percent more likely to develop any kind of cancer than women who'd taken dummy pills during the study.
"There's still a lot of uncertainty about the cause of the increased cancer risk," said analysis co-author Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital.
The cancers included breast tumors, which also occurred more frequently in hormone users during the study.
The researchers noted that the increased risks for all cancers amounted to only three extra cases per year for every 1,000 women on hormone pills, compared with nonusers.
The initial study included 16,608 postmenopausal women The follow-up tracked 15,730 participants through March 2005.
Statement From The American Pharmacists Association Regarding FDA's Action Against Compounded Menopause Hormone Therapy Drugs Main Category: Pharmacy / Pharmacist
Article Date: 15 Jan 2008 - 2:00 PST
Following is a statement by John A. Gans, PharmD., Executive Vice President and CEO of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), in response to warning letters sent to seven pharmacy operations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The letters state "bio-identical hormone replacement therapy," (BHRT) products, are unsupported by medical evidence and are considered by the Agency false and misleading, and that the use of estriol in these products violates the FDA's compounding compliance policy guide.
"APhA does not support misleading marketing claims of any pharmacy products. Patient safety is our utmost concern. However, APhA believes that limiting compounded medications to those that include bulk drug ingredients of FDA-approved drug products, greatly limits patient access to medications that address their unique needs. While this FDA warning focuses solely on the compounding of menopause hormone replacement therapy drugs, APhA believes that other compounded medications may be at risk for future FDA scrutiny.
FDA says alternative hormone claims unsupported
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. health officials said on Wednesday they had warned seven pharmacies selling "bio-identical" hormones over the Internet that they were breaking the law with false and misleading claims about the benefits for menopausal women.
The Food and Drug Administration sent letters ordering the pharmacies to stop claiming their hormones were better than approved menopause therapies and could prevent and treat serious conditions such as Alzheimer's, strokes and cancer. Full Story
Audio Report from Deborah Autor, Director, FDA Office of Compliance Center for Drug Evaluation & Research
For a Low-Dose Hormone, Take Your Pick
By RONI CARYN RABIN Published: August 28, 2007
Patches, pumps, pills, low-dose pills and super-low-dose creams and gels: Ever since the landmark Women’s Health Initiative study found that hormone therapy could be harmful, a dizzying array of new low-dose treatment options have been offered to counter the symptoms of menopause. Read more...
How NIH Misread Hormone Study in 2002
On July 9, 2002, federal government health officials announced that they had halted a major study of menopause hormones, saying the drugs increased a woman's risk of heart attack by 29%.
But in the five years since, it's become clear that some aspects of what was initially reported from the $725 million Women's Health Initiative study were either misleading or just wrong. Although the government initially said the findings applied to all women, regardless of age or health status, additional data published in recent months show that the age of a woman and the timing of hormone use dramatically changes the risk and benefits. WHI data published in April in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that women in their 50s who took a combination of estrogen and progestin or estrogen alone had a 30% lower risk of dying than women who didn't take hormones.
July 2007--Wyeth's First Non-Hormone Menopause Pill May Be Safer (Update3) By Lisa Rapaport
Wyeth's menopause treatment Prempro July 23 (Bloomberg) -- Wyeth may win U.S. approval for Pristiq, the first non-hormone menopause pill, based on studies suggesting the medicine is safer than the drugmaker's current therapies.
Sales slowed for Wyeth's hormone-based menopausal treatments, Premarin and Prempro, after U.S. research in 2002 linked them to breast cancer and heart attacks. Pristiq, derived from Wyeth's best-seller, the antidepressant Effexor, curbs hot flashes by acting on brain chemicals. Read more.....
April 19, 2007 - FDA Decision on New Wyeth Drug Postponed
WASHINGTON — Pharmaceutical maker Wyeth said Thursday regulatory approval of a new drug to treat menopause symptoms won't happen until at least July, several months later than expected.
The Food and Drug Administration was scheduled to make a decision next week on Pristiq, the first non-hormonal drug to treat hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
During an earnings teleconference Thursday, Wyeth told investors and analysts the decision had been postponed until the FDA can review additional data Wyeth submitted.
April 2007 -- Hormones not always risky, new study says
The finding suggests guidelines need to be sharpened so that hormones are used shortly after menopause only, researchers say.Read full article
December 2006 -- Breast cancer drop may be due to women quitting menopause hormones, doctors say By MARILYNN MARCHIONE
SAN ANTONIO -- U.S. breast cancer rates plunged an unprecedented 7 percent in 2003, the year after millions of women stopped taking menopause hormones when a study showed the pills raise the risk of tumors.
The startling new analysis, reported Thursday at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, does not prove a link between hormone therapy and breast cancer, but strongly suggests it, many experts said. Read full article
July 2006 -- Study: Estratest doubles breast cancer risk By CARLA K. JOHNSON Associated Press Writer
"This type of hormone therapy may help with mood, libido and bone mineral density, but the possible risk of breast cancer may outweigh these benefits," said study co-author Rulla Tamimi of Harvard Medical School. Read full article
May 8, 2006 --Menopause: Anatomy of a Hot Flash
Hot flashes are no joke when they leave you soaked in sweat and feeling dazed. Technically, hot flashes exaggerate how the body normally cools down: blood vessels dilate, letting more blood reach the skin to release heat. They tend to come on rapidly and last from one to five minutes. They range in severity from a fleeting sense of warmth to a feeling of being on fire. Some women have just a few during a week; others get them day and night. Read more
Feb. 28, 2006- NEW YORK - Herbal combo may ease menopause symptoms
Study: Women felt relief after taking St. John's wort, black cohosh. Pairing up two commonly used herbal medicines is “very effective” for easing physical and psychological symptoms of menopause, German researchers report.
St. John’s wort is widely used to treat mild to moderate depression, while women have traditionally taken black cohosh for menopausal complaints, Dr. Joerg Gruenwald of Analyze & Realize, a Berlin-based botanical consulting company, and colleagues write in the February issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Feb. 14, 2006 - Is Estrogen Therapy Helpful After All?
(WebMD) In recent years many women stopped taking hormones for menopause after a report linked them to heart disease. Now researchers have found that estrogen might not be as bad as we thought — especially for younger women.
The new findings suggest a possible estrogen benefit for women in their 50s, but experts say it's too early to recommend hormones to help the heart.
The study also confirmed previous findings that estrogen treatment does not protect older, postmenopausal women against heart disease.
Feb. 10, 2006 - Evidence for health advice confusion
Hormone replacement therapy, recently a huge no-no, got the green light this week from Canadian gynecologists.
The same day, a low-fat diet, promoted by everybody from Loblaws to your family doctor, was trumpeted as being little or no help to women's health, according to results of a large-scale study by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
Jan 26, 2006 - Hormone Replacement Therapy May Increase Lung Cancer Risk
NEW YORK JAN 26, 2006 (Reuters Health) - A history of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) appears to decrease survival rates among women diagnosed with lung ...
December 30, 2005....
Hormone prescription dropped to 6 million from 12.6 in 2001 due to fears about breast cancer, strokes and heart disease. Read More
Despite the risks, still on estrogen
As president and chief executive of the Society for Women's Health Research, Phyllis Greenberger knows all about the studies showing that women who take hormones after menopause have a greater risk of breast cancer, stroke, heart attack, incontinence and dementia. She is aware that federal health officials recommend that the drugs be taken at the lowest dose for the shortest time possible to treat severe symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes. Read more......
Estrogen Not Effective After Menopause
CHICAGO -- Estrogen pills have little effect on older women's quality of life, fresh evidence from a landmark study shows in yet another blow to the myth that most women need the hormones to feel better after menopause.
More than 10,000 women with an average age of 63 were asked about their general health, mental, physical and social functioning, energy level and emotional health before and a year after they started taking either estrogen or dummy pills. Read more
Special Report -- In January, 2002, the Jim Leher NewsHour on PBS aired a segment focusing on the National Institute of Health's announcement it was stopping the largest clinical trial of hormone replacement therapy because the risks outweighed the benefits. Video and a transcript are available on PBS.org. A follow-up to this story aired in June, 2003
Ordinarily I wouldn't bring something from two years ago to the forefront, but there are STILL so many women who are confused about whether they should take hormone therapy or not that I thought you would still benefit from hearing what some women went through back in 2002. We're STILL getting mixed messages from our healthcare professionals and still having to rely on each other and anecdotal evidence of what works and what doesn't. I keep trying to find one central source of information that will benefit the most women, but at this point in time, there isn't one. I'm very proud to see that minniepauz.com is listed as a menopause resource on PBS!
July 2005 - Hormone replacement therapy safe for women with menopause & cancer survivors
June 2005 - OHSU Researchers Uncover Cause, Possible Treatment For Abdominal Fat In Postmenopausal Women
May 2005 - New HRT patch available to Aussie women
May 2005 - Menopause and African-American Women
March 2005 - HRT: Still a Useful Therapeutic Tool
February 2005 - Hormone supplements raise another red flag for women -- BY LINDSEY TANNER - THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 2005 - Women who use postmenopausal hormone therapy containing estrogen shortly after menopause are less likely to experience cognitive impairment as they age, according to research published in the January/February 2005 issue of Menopause, the official journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).Read full article....
December 2004 - Drug limits return of breast cancer
October 2004 - Women Returning to HT
August 2004 - Pros & Cons of short term HT
June 2004 - Study Finds Menopause Can Be Predicted
Researchers now say they may be able to predict when that clock will wind down.
May 2004 - Perimenopause could cause serious first-time depression By Marilyn Elias, USA TODAY
Apr 2004 - Study Plans to Retest Use of Hormones
Mar 2004 - Possible Peril Found in Menopause Cream
Pro-Gest, one of more than two dozen creams containing natural progesterone, is a widely used alternative to synthetic hormone therapies that have been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer and heart disease. Millions of tubes of progesterone cream are sold annually.
Mar 2004 - The Menopause Market -- Salon -- by Pamela Paul
Mar 2004- National Hormone Therapy Study Halted -- Nearly 11,000 American women received a letter from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) this past Monday explaining that the estrogen hormone therapy clinical trial they had been involved in was being stopped a year earlier than planned due to the unacceptable health risks associated with the treatment.
Feb 2004 - SWEDEN -- Scandinavian scientists announced Tuesday that they have called off a study of the effects of hormone-replacement therapy for women with a history of breast cancer because early results showed an "unacceptably high" risk of recurrence.
Their findings add to earlier reports that using hormone replacement to control menopausal symptoms carries significant health risks.
Eighteen months ago, U.S. scientists abruptly ended the nation's biggest study of hormone-replacement therapy using the combined hormones estrogen and progestin, saying long-term use significantly increases the risk of breast cancer, strokes and heart attacks.
In the Scandinavian study, half the women were on replacement therapy and the other half on a non-hormonal treatment. In the HRT group, 26 women had a recurrence or a new case of breast cancer compared with seven women among those who took the other treatment.
Jan 2004 The North American Menopause Society Releases Position Statement on the Treatment of Menopause-Related Hot Flashes Treatment of hot flashes, especially those moderate to severe in intensity, has focused primarily on estrogen therapy. However, recent studies questioning the benefit-risk ratio of long-term estrogen use have increased the search for alternative treatments. Read more....
The Women's Health Initiative
Interview on PBS
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Archives from 2002
The North American
Return to Minnie Pauz Main Page
Quotes from various Doctors:
Dr. David Elmer, a Hyannis gynecologist
From Dr. Susan Love's website..."Although HRT may be right for some women, the research to date shows little evidence that HRT is playing a key role in disease prevention, while risks associated with its use remain."
I appreciate your common sense approach to the HRT issue. And I agree thatHumor Replacement is in order. ........
Paul D. Burstein, M.D. FACOG
University of Wisconsin