Advice on using HRT please: What are the pros & cons?
please kindly help me make an informed decision regarding HRT (Hormone replacement therapy for menopause). I am not sure whether I should use it. I am 45 years old, and I lost menstrual cycles. I have no gynaecological problems and no menopausal symptoms. Actually, I feel great.
Three years ago, I had total thyroidectomy due to papillary thyroid cancer. I also did RAI therapy. Thanks God, I am completely healed (as this type of cancer is curable due to developments in medicine).
I suspect that I lost cycle a bit earlier due to all these problems with thyroid, as I noticed changes in cycle after RAI therapy.
Anyway, I have to make a decision now on whether to use HRT, not due to menopausal symptoms (I do not have them), but in order to preserve my health for the future. I read the Mayo clinic guideliness, but as it happened in 45 for me (last period when I was 44), I am not sure in which age group I belong. Am I prematurely in menopause or not? If "normal" is between 45-55, what is 44? Should I use it until "normal" age for menopause, which is 51, or everything between 45-55 is normal….meaning….I am almost normal:))) LOL.
I found conflicting research and opinions regarding HRT, especially regarding the risk for breast cancer. For instance, on one site I found information that HRT "increases breast cancer risk by about 75%", while everywhere else it says that there is a risk, but it is small. As I am healed from thyroid cancer, I wish to care about my health and not increase the risk for other cancers.
In particular, I would like to understand whether it is possible to care for my health with other medicine or supplements (like vitamin D, calcium, omega 3-6-9 etc.), instead of HRT?
I would like to understand whether I will miss something important for my health if I avoid taking HRT now.
Sorry for such a long post, but I needed to explain in order to present a clear picture. Thank you so much for your advice.
I wish you all great health and happiness!
P.S. I included links to sources I mentioned in the post, but had to delete them, as the message could not be posted with links.
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I’m 60 years of age, should I consider hormone replacement therapy….I have been having lots of hot flashes… And insomnia….. And foggy memory…. Is any one going through the same …
Hi @pamt. Here is some information about hormone therapy that should be helpful for you: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/in-depth/hormone-therapy/art-20046372.
I would NOT consider hormone therapy. Try taking Vit. E capsules & you will see results & keep a damp facecloth next to your bed so that during the night when you have hot flashes you can put the facecloth on your face. Also put a small fan on your night table. All these thinks help.
My breast cancer was estrogen hormone therapy related!
For 7 yrs. now, have been on estrogen blockers. Also, consuming
Soy in any form is not in my best interest, as it converts to Estrogen
In the body. Farm raised fish are fed soy pellets. Tofu is soy, etc.
Would rather have hot flashes than Cancer…wouldn’t you?
I too would strongly recommend not taking the hrt (hormone replacement therapy ). I was on it for far too long and was diagnosed with hormone receptor positive breast cancer two years ago. Myself and others believe the breast cancer is likely because of long time use of ERT. Unfortunately, my GP never mentioned the risk. Now that I’m taking anastrozole, I’m dealing with other “unpleasant side effects” one being awful hot flashes every two hours.
Like @digitalsandy, you raise a very important point for women considering HRT. Here’s more info about HRT and cancer risk from the American Cancer Society. They help guide people through recent research on the subject. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/medicaltreatments/menopausal-hormone-replacement-therapy-and-cancer-risk
Wicher, you may wish to join the discussion in the Breast Cancer group on Connect: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/breast-cancer/ in particular this conversation about the side effects of anastrozole https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/i-completed-all-treatments-for-breast-cancer-but-now-i-am-supposed/ Come introduce yourself there and tell us a bit more about yourself.
Why, please explain the NOT
@love4life it’s great that you came to this site for a big decision and hard decision. Are you experiencing problem symptoms? Done lots of research? Had a real good talk with your doctor? I was only on HRT for a few years before all the studies came out so I’m not a great one to talk about what they did for me. You might write down your symptoms and rate them from ‘awful’ to just a ‘nuisance’ and how they affect your life. Then set up an appointment with your doctor. As a nurse, I wouldn’t recommend HRT unless the problems are difficult to manage, and then only after talking with a doctor. You might see a gynecologist—they specialize in menopause. Let us know what you learn and decide!
@love4life, I add my welcome. I see that you wanted to post a links to provide references to your post above. New members cannot post web links for a few days. We do this to protect the community from spammers, i.e., people who join only to post links to sell something, etc.
Clearly the links you wished to share are a helpful and useful link for the community. Please allow me to post the for you. You will be able to post links by the end of next week.
– HRT guidelines from Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/in-depth/hormone-therapy/art-20046372
– Conflicting research and opinions regarding HRT, especially regarding the risk for breast cancer. For instance, here: https://www.breastcancer.org/risk/factors/hrt
Are you having symptoms of menopause? Having hot flashes? One OTC that can help somewhat is Vitamin E d-alpha tocopherol NOT the dl-alpha tocopherol. The latter is synthetic. I had a surgical menopause, was in my earliest 40's, was put on a tablet daily of Premarin .625, it was controlling the hot flashes to a point. Eventually I was on 2 a day, one AM other PM, gradually have cut down considerably. I am 76 and yes I still have hot flashes. We all differ, I feel you would know if you are experiencing symptoms that would need estrogen. Bear in mind how many years ago treatment was different. A GYN is a must IMHO, maybe see another until you feel at ease.
For now, I don't take the tablets ,only use the Premarin Vaginal Cream, the cream will bypass the liver.
Best wishes for good decisions.
(how i wish there was a thread for FOSAMAX and other meds similar. I am to start it and am not overly comfortable with 2 doctor's views, some of the side effects concern me, For the past few years
my bone scans had been good., not now! For bone health, I have been on Calcium and Vitamin D and magnesium for years)