For the past several decades, there has been raging controversy over hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Now there is some evidence that long-term use of HRT may not be safe and may increase the risk of breast cancer. A Large federally funded study recently indicated that women who took HRT after menopause were at a much higher risk for both breast cancer and from dying of the disorder when compared to women who did not take HRT.
The hormone studied in this study was prempro, which is a sex hormone replacement pill that contains both estrogen and progesterone. Women who took prempro regularly after menopause were at a much higher risk for breast cancer and more likely to have breast cancer that had already spreads to other parts of the body.
How HRT increases risk of breast cancer and death remains unknown. The other difficulty with the use of these hormones is that the drug also makes breast tissue much denser and thus, detection of any mass or growth can be difficult. In addition, the sex hormone estrogen found in most hormone replacement therapies also increase growth of breast tissue and thus it can help any mass grow faster.
The study also showed that HRT also increased the risk of heart disease and blood clots. In the last few years, physicians have been reluctant to prescribe these hormones for fear of complications. Unfortunately, millions of women now use bioidentical hormones and the same risk applies to these hormones.