Tags: Health Topics | hormone replacement therapy | risks | benefits | women

Hormone Replacement Therapy Risks and Benefits for Women

By    |   Tuesday, 06 Oct 2015 02:29 PM

The benefits that women hope to find in hormone replacement therapy are often forms of relief from symptoms related to menopause.

But medical professionals warn that such therapy often comes with risks.

For women, menopausal hormone therapy helps manage symptoms of lowered estrogen levels like hot flashes but also is associated with certain cancer risks, according to the American Cancer Society.

Estrogen-progestin therapy, for example, has not shown to increase risk of endometrial cancer or ovarian cancer, but it is correlated to higher incidents of breast cancer, the ACS said.

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"Women who took EPT had a lower risk of getting colorectal cancer at all, but the cancers they got were more advanced (more likely to have spread to lymph nodes or distant sites) than the cancers in the women not taking hormones," said the ACS, citing a Women's Health Iniative study. By turn, the ACS said: "EPT is not linked to a higher risk of getting lung cancer, but it is linked to a higher risk of dying from lung cancer."

Sometimes the benefits outweigh the risks, which are contingent with how the hormone therapies are used, the Mayo Clinic reported.

For example, Mayo Clinic staff said: "Despite the health risks, systemic estrogen is still the most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms."

"The benefits of hormone therapy may outweigh the risks if you're healthy and experience moderate to severe hot flashes or other menopausal symptoms; have lost bone mass and either can't tolerate or aren't benefitting from other treatments; stopped having periods before age 40 (premature menopause) or lost normal function of your ovaries before age 40 (premature ovarian insufficiency)," added the Mayo Clinic staff.

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The benefits that patients seek in hormone replacement therapy is often relief from symptoms related to andropause in men and menopause in women. But medical professionals warn that such therapy often comes with risks.
hormone replacement therapy, risks, benefits, women
Tuesday, 06 Oct 2015 02:29 PM
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