The latest on menopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer

The latest on menopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer

Menopause is a normal life stage for women at around 51 years. Most women don’t need treatment for their symptoms, but around 13% of Australian women aged 50-69 take menopausal hormone therapy (sometimes called “hormone replacement therapy”).

This medication contains hormones that are normally low or absent after menopause, and reduces symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats, which can be troublesome and persistent for some women.

But growing evidence over recent years has pointed to an increased risk of breast cancer associated with menopausal hormone therapy. This has already led some women to stop or avoid the treatment.

Now a new study, published in the leading medical journal The Lancet, strengthens the existing evidence, and suggests the risks are greater than we previously thought.

This study only measured the risk of breast cancer, not potential benefits such as improved symptoms, sleep and quality of life.

However, it provides important information to help women decide whether to take menopausal ...

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