The breast cancer and HRT controversy – An expert panel separates fact from fiction

Description

The publication of the Women’s Health Initiative study in 2002 changed forever the previous concepts of menopause management.

Even women with troublesome symptoms were often reluctant to consider hormone therapy given the increased risk of breast cancer found in this study. Since then there has been an attempt to put all risks in perspective when discussing the pros and cons of menopausal hormone therapy with a woman experiencing significant vasomotor symptoms.

From the initial maxim of the ‘lowest dose for the shortest time’ we moved to treating women with the dose of hormone therapy which effectively manages the symptoms for the time required. Then came the Lancet publication of August 2019 which not only re-emphasised the increased risk of breast cancer associated with hormone therapy but suggested that the risk is apparent even after only very short periods of use.

This educational activity will discuss the implications of the Lancet article for menopause management in Australia within the broader context of the risks and benefits of menopausal hormone therapy generally.

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Dr Terri Foran

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Dr Terri Foran

Sexual Health Physician; Conjoint Senior Lecturer, School of Women’s and Children’s Health, UNSW

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Date published: 18 December 2021

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