Postmenopausal HRT, was hailed as a breakthrough in assisting women adapt to life after child bearing years were over, both in maintaining their femininity and easing, or eliminating the symptomatic 'hot flushes' (flashes for the yanks). This is obviously something many women prized as an outcome, because it seemed like an 'elixer for youth'. Well, it turned out to be something completely different, and for some it was a death sentence. In JAMA yesterday, the results of an 11 year study of a very large cohort of women was published that concludes, that combined HRT increases breast cancer significantly; well, in the cohort study, it was nearly doubled. Worst still was the fact that the type of cancer was node-positive, not the 'benign' type that 'Big Pharma' had already acknowledged was more likely when on HRT. How any breast cancer can be viewed as such boggles my mind but hey-ho, drug companies often use such terms as their stock in trade. Highly regarded (by me anyway) Paul D. Maher also highlghts this study in his blog today, which may mean great minds think alike, (would that I was as credentialed or clever as he) but maybe not.
Well, it was already known in 2002, that the Women's Health Initiative Trial (WHI) was halted due to evidence of harm, and that many advocates ('Big Pharma'), refuted this as being purely observational and as such inconclusive. Whilst I still hold to the view, that observation does not prove causation, at the same time, observed harm, is a serious problem.worthy of urgent and serious investigation. After all whilst the use of 'extract of pregnant horse piss' may have afforded women comfort in menopause, it was hardly something worthy of risking one's life to eliminate. Amongst the many charges leveled at HRT in both the 'combined' form and Oestrogen only types are;-
- Heart Disease
- Lung Cancer
- Blood Clots