How will hormone replacement therapy or bioidentical hormones affect my breast health?
This is one of the most complex and personal issues I discuss with my patients. For years, HRT was considered the “miracle for menopause,” and doctors simply put nearly every woman on the pills. But after the risks with combination HRT were found to outweigh its benefits by the Women’s Health Initiative, millions of women were taken off synthetic HRT or stopped on their own, to protect themselves from heart disease, stroke, and breast cancer, among other health risks. Now the research and results on safety and success of HRT are widely mixed — one of the only universal factors is that it seems at best a treatment that should be highly individualized, tailored specifically to certain women and their particular menopausal needs. And ever since many synthetic HRT treatments were abruptly halted, the controversy heightened over whether there are risks for menopausal women using bioidentical hormone therapy. I wish there were more concrete news to share with you, but at this point, the estr