A revision in the standard of care is long overdue
Yarmouth, Maine (PRWEB) November 11, 2010
The recent worrisome news that synthetic hormone replacement therapy causes more aggressive forms of breast cancer has led more women - and their doctors - to question the conventional standard of care for menopause symptoms.
"A revision in the standard of care is long overdue," says Marcelle Pick, OB-GYN NP, co-founder of the renowned Women to Women healthcare clinic. "We've had an endless stream of negative studies on HRT since the original WHI study in 2002 showed it raised the risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke. This latest study is simply the worst."
Unfortunately, the genuinely newsworthy aspect of this study has been lost in the sensationalistic tone of the media which is spreading certain incorrect information. The way the information was reported made it sound like taking hormones of any kind, in any way, increases the risk of breast cancer. This is not true. The women in the study were taking synthetic hormone drugs, which do not have the same qualities as hormones found naturally in the human body.
"The good news is that even long-term defenders of synthetic HRT are now questioning its continued use," commented Dixie Mills, MD, a nationally recognized breast cancer expert. "The number of women using synthetic HRT fell sharply after the WHI study came out, but the pharmaceutical industry has kept promoting HRT as the only alternative, and many doctors have continued to recommend it."
"Our view has always been that synthetic HRT should be the last resort, used by just the tiny percentage of women who don't respond to less risky approaches, and then only for the shortest possible period of time," added Pick.
Mills remarked, "The new standard of care should recommend improved nutrition, phytotherapy, lifestyle, and exercise as first-line therapy to manage menopause symptoms. If that doesn't yield enough improvement, the doctor and patient can try bioidentical hormones. While there aren't enough data to make final judgments about the long-term safety of bioidentical hormones, their efficacy is clear, there is no evidence of unusual risk, and there is a biologically plausible argument that they could be safe when used under a doctor's care with continual monitoring of hormone levels, as should be done with any form of HRT."
"Synthetic HRT should be the last resort," concluded Pick, "as it has been in our practice for most of the last 25 years. On our website we give away for free the information women need to follow the natural approach to balancing hormones first - this has helped millions of women. For those who don't want to undertake so much reading and self-help, we offer a web-based, at-home program. And of course we welcome patients at our clinic who want to wean off synthetic HRT and perhaps try bioidentical hormones instead."
About Women to Women
Women to Women is America's leading medical practice devoted to health care for women, by women. Founded over 25 years ago, the clinic has pioneered a natural approach that combines the best of alternative and conventional medicine. Through its practice, website, and publications, Women to Women supports over a million women a year in their efforts to create health and well-being in their lives.
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