Hormone Replacement Therapy And Breast Cancer - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Hormone Replacement Therapy And Breast Cancer

A new study shows the number of breast cancer patients is decreasing and it has nothing to do with new drugs or treatments.  In 2002, some doctors made the recommendation for women to stop taking hormone replacements. Then a year later, the number of breast cancer cases dropped 7%, which leads many doctors to draw a link between the two.  However, there is conflicting information making it hard for some woman to decide what to do.

"I think we have to tell all post-menopausal women that this is yet more evidence that we have to be careful.  Short term use of hormones is probably ok for women who are really suffering but I think by and large long term use is not wise," says Dr. Susan Love, Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.

"If you look at the development of cancers it takes years, maybe 5 years or 10 years in some cases.  It's very hard for us to believe that one year of a lot of women not taking their hormone replacement therapy would eliminate that many cancers," says Dr. Bill Hyman, Oncologist Tyler Cancer Center.

The messages are confusing, even from the doctors. Women who watched the morning shows this morning heard doctors advising them to stop taking hormone replacement drugs. But Dr. Bill Hyman an oncologist with Tyler Cancer Center says he does not believe the one year decrease has proven the link between hormone therapy and breast cancer.  

"I don't think that we can tell them is that their risk goes down by 7% a year," says Dr. Hyman.

Dr. Hyman says woman should not just stop taking their hormone replacement therapy drugs without first talking with their doctor.

Today we met, 55 year old Karen Wollard and 48 year old Donna PanKratz who are both taking hormone replacement therapy drugs and have no plans of stopping.

"One month, I am just now finishing my first month of pills," says Donna.

"I don't think that it is fact based yet and I think they need to do more studies and really do it for this purpose.  I think what they have done is an use information from a prior study.   So I'm staying with my medicine for now," says Karen Wollard.

Both say they are not willing to go back to symptoms associated with menopause.

"I began getting my hot flashes and couldn't sleep it was pretty miserable," says Donna.

"I am not willing to have hot flashes, headaches, insomnia and irritability," says Karen.

For now it's going to have to be personal choice you make with your doctor.  The breast cancer numbers for 2004 are due in April. Some doctors say those numbers will show if there really is a decline in breast cancer.

Karolyn Davis, reporting. kdavis@kltv.com


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