After years of steady increase, breast cancer rates dropped 7 percent in 2003, one year after millions of women stopped taking hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) following a report by the Women's Health Initiative regarding the dangers of HRT.
The July 2002 report indicated that HRT can increase the risks of heart disease and breast cancer.
Breast cancer rates dropped the most (12 percent) among women aged 50 to 69 whose tumors feed on estrogen. Women in that age range are the most likely to use hormone therapy to relieve menopausal symptoms.
About 30 percent of women older than 50 took hormone therapy until the 2002 report, at which point roughly half of them stopped. Since 200,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year, a 7 percent drop means that approximately 14,000 fewer women were diagnosed with the disease in 2003.
I've warned women for many years to stay away from synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT), as it can affect them in a multitude of health-harming ways.
In fact I remember contacting Dr. James Dobson, a popular radio broadcaster, when his "expert panel" was endorsing this to millions of his listeners. He refused to review the dozens of carefully prepared peer-reviewed scientific studies that clearly warned of this danger years before it became available.
I was disheartened when he refused to listen to my pleas to retract his incorrect information, as many women were harmed by his well intentioned, but incorrect, advice. Fortunately, the truth became widespread a few years when the Journal of the American Medical Association published the findings that synthetic HRT added to their risks of stroke, blood clots and heart attack, as well as breast cancer.
Unfortunately, millions of women died prematurely from this farce before the truth became well known.
But that has always been the focus of this site. Find the EARLY information and warn people BEFORE they get injured while they still have a chance to avoid the danger. Just like I did with Vioxx, five years before it was pulled from the market.
Synthetic progestins like Provera are responsible for nearly all the side effects. Most women with problems caused by menopause actually need estradiol, which is bioidentical to the primary human female hormone. Additionally, lifestyle changes can balance a woman's hormones at any time of her life.
If you are going to use hormone replacement therapy, clearly bioidentical hormones are the way to go and an absolute no brainer if one has had a surgically induced menopause. The therapy becomes a bit more controversial if it is a natural menopause.
On Vital Votes, reader Karen tells her story: