- Women's Health
Female hormones, each woman reaches a point in life when you have to decide, "Do I take hormones or not?"
Now there is more information than ever to take into account, when a woman reaches menopause and the doctor has the option of hormone treatment.
Some of these reports have to do with cancer. A study led by Dr. Ronald K. Ross, a specialist in preventive medicine at the University of Southern California, demonstrates that estrogen and progesterone increase the risk of developing breast cancer in women who have passed the change of life.
For every 5 years a woman takes estrogen, the risk of breast cancer increases 6 percent, according to Dr. Ross. For every 5 years it takes estrogen and progesterone together, the risk increases 24 percent. Today, this combination of estrogen and progesterone is the typical treatment to combat the symptoms of menopause.
Among women who used this treatment for 10 years or more, which was the most comprehensive research to date on the issue, the risk increased by 50 percent, according to the study,
Both doctors and women have discussed for years the advantages and disadvantages of hormonal treatment. Doctors give prescriptions for estrogen in cases of women who have passed menopause in order to protect against osteoporosis. The hormone also helps prevent cardiovascular diseases, which are the major cause of death in the US But taking estrogen also increases the risk of uterine cancer, which is the most common gynecological cancer.
In response to the high risk of cancer of the womb, scientists began in the 1970s to combine estrogen with progesterone hormone therapy. Progesterone combat the negative effects of estrogen in the womb, but no one knew what would be the effect on breast cancer.
Dr. Ross and his colleagues conclude that the benefits of estrogen alone, when added together, are more than disadvantages. For each case presented breast cancer in women by long-term use of estrogen, 6 deaths from preventable heart problems, doctors said.
According to Dr. Ross, doctors, when women are weighing the pros and cons of hormone therapy should introduce much information as possible about the effects of substitution therapy with female hormones, and explain that this issue is still under study.