Below is an article that sums up what I've been harping on for the last several YEARS, ever since the WHI Study (Women's Health Initiative) came out and made every woman in America think that HRT caused breast cancer. Bijillions of women stopped taking their hormones as a result.
The study was ultimately proven to be flawed and misleading in several ways. But guess what? Nobody listened to what came out about it, afterward. Why? Why didn't mainstream media follow up with the newer information that would have set women straight about this topic? And why haven't the majority of doctors gotten OFF the anti-HRT bandwagon? Why do they still tell women that estrogen supplementation causes breast cancer? Why do they tell women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer to not only stop HRT, if they are on it, but also to take drugs that will wipe out the rest of what little estrogen their own bodies are still producing?
This is a COMPLICATED medical topic, but most doctors who are spouting off about it don't know shit from shineola. They don't! They too are misinformed. They aren't doing the research, not because they are bad people but because they don't have time or energy to keep up with all this stuff. Instead, they mostly rely on their pharmaceutical reps to spoonfeed them the information that most benefits drug companies.
My own pathologist, a lovely and highly respected pathologist at St. Mary's Medical Center, admitted to me ON TAPE, three years ago, that the estrogen issue was MUCH more complex than we were being led to believe. But he was the only doctor who took the time to talk to me in any depth about the subtleties of this subject; he was the only one who treated me as if I had enough brains to be able to assess these subtleties and make my own decisions. He was the only one who said, essentially, "This is not a black and white issue." My surgeon didn't do this. None of the four oncologists I spoke with did this. They simply talked AT me, telling me what I HAD to do, as if there were no question and no other options. I try to be calm and compassionate toward those who, in my opinion, are really fucking up. But it's hard. I still get so angry when I think about all this.
Okay, I have to get back to working to make a living. I don't have all day to try and persuade other women to take responsibility for their own health by becoming more informed, and standing up to doctors (and organizations) who don't back up their pronouncements with evidence. We need to STAND UP for ourselves and our health...instead of so meekly and yes, lazily, refusing to QUESTION the authorities that are not always right, for godsake.
This includes the organizations who blitz the media . . . and women's brains . . . with a lot of pink ribbon fluff and hoopla that never raises these issues. Well-meaning women march and run marathons, wear pink paraphernalia, and cries big tears on camera while vowing that they are fighting for women's survival; I know they believe they are, but I think the majority are buying into a myth that has been too long perpetuated not by "evil" villains but by the phenomenon of "group think" and "too many followers, not enough leaders."
Please read this article:
There has been lots of conflicting news about the relationship between hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer. The latest study to address this issue comes from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (5/16/01). The study found that for women who have already had breast cancer, hormone replacement therapy did NOT increase their risk of breast cancer recurrence. In fact, the study found that HRT might even lower the chances of a breast cancer recurrence in those women and lower their risk of death from breast cancer if it does recur. In addition, this study showed that HRT use after a diagnosis of breast cancer reduced the relative risk of death from all causes.
Investigators at the University of Washington in Seattle evaluated data from 2,755 women, aged 35 to 74, who had been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer between 1977 and 1994. Of these women, there were 174 who elected to use hormone replacement therapy after their diagnosis. Each of those HRT users was matched to 4 randomly selected nonusers with similar age, disease stage, and year of diagnosis. After following these women for approximately 4 years, rates of breast cancer recurrence and death from all causes was calculated. The results show that the rate of breast cancer recurrence was 17 per 1000 person-years in women who used HRT after their diagnosis of breast cancer, and nearly twice as high (30 per 1000 person-years) in women who did not use HRT after their diagnosis. Breast cancer mortality rates were 5 per 1000 person-years in HRT users and three times higher (15 per 1000 person-years) in nonusers. Mortality rates from all causes were nearly twice as high in the women who did not use HRT (16 per 1000 person-years in HRT users versus 30 per 1000 person-years in nonusers).
What do these numbers mean in plain English? After following these women for nearly 4 years, investigators found that the rate of cancer recurrence in women who used HRT after having been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer was approximately HALF of what it was in nonusers after adjustment for confounding factors.
When they evaluated causes of death in these women, the researchers found that the risk of death from breast cancer was three times greater in the women who did NOT use HRT than in the women who did.
When death from ALL causes was evaluated, the women who did not take HRT had TWICE the risk of death compared to the women who took HRT. The results did not vary based upon the length of time that the women took HRT or whether they used the vaginal or pill form of HRT.
The results of this study argue against any causal influence of HRT on breast cancer recurrence and mortality. It may also influence the recommendations that women are given about resuming HRT after breast cancer diagnosis.