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Hormone Replacement Therapy

bdean
Posts: 262
Joined: Feb 2001

Dear Friends:
It has been announced that doctors will no longer prescribe HRT as a treatment for menopausal symptoms with the claim that it strengthens bones and helps prevent heart disease. Data has proven that it can be a cause of breast cancer.
That was the story my primary care doctor and my GYN doctor used to convince me to go on this medication several years ago--that it had so many benefits for post menopause--never a mention about risk of breast cancer. Last year at my physical, my prime care doctor was already concerned that this treatment may have contributed to my breast cancer which is estrogen positive. I will never know for sure, but I was afraid from the beginning that HRT was at least partly responsible. I am not in any high risk group at all. There is no breast cancer on either side of my family as far back as anyone can remember--not even a cousin. I had my children in my twenties and have never been more that 10 pounds overweight. I do realize that the biggest risk factor for 'bc'is being a woman; although a few men do get the disease.
I was just curious if anyone else was on HRT before their diagnosis. I would love to hear your response. I have several friends who use this and have not had any sign of cancer. One lady has been using it for 20 years.
Thank you for any information you can provide.
I do hope all of you are having a 'good' day in every way. May God bless you.
Love and hugs, and my prayers,
Brenda

cathdavis
Posts: 42
Joined: Apr 2002

Brenda, I was on HRT for about 3 yrs before being diagnosed with bc. My risk factors included no children and I do drink, but not much. Also I was adopted so don't know my biological health history. I am not overweight and exercise 4-5 times a week. The dr said my biggest risk was just being a woman in my 50's (I'm 55). He said maybe the HRT hurried things along, but that I probably would have eventually gotten it anyway. I have always wondered the same thing as you because I was also estrogen positive. I am taking arimidex right now and hope that it will do the trick and I won't have a recurrence. I just had my mastectomy last March.
Good luck and God bless you too!
Cathy in FL

bev983
Posts: 9
Joined: May 2002

Hi Cathy,

In response to your message, I have been on HRT for about 5 yrs, and was diagnosed with BC in March. I definitely think the HRT was a definite cause of this disease, however one will never know. This doesn't run in my family at all. I had a mastectomy also and reconstruction at the same time. Am in the middle of chemo then radiation. I was estrogen positive as well and will be on Tomoxifin. I'm reluctant about that med since I heard about so many side effects., but if it helps I guess we have to grin and bear it. I never had children but adopted a son from So. America. You mentioned you were adopted but no children. The statistics say that people with no children get BC more. I hope things work out for you. My prayers are with you. email me if you'd like. I'm also from FL. Bev

judy22
Posts: 119
Joined: Apr 2002

Me too. I also was on HRT before my breast ca. I had my kidsin my 20's and breast ca in my family. Mine is also estrogen positive. Mine has since gone to my liver and they are running out of medicines to give me for this. Judy

lizaboy's picture
lizaboy
Posts: 35
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi Brenda I'm from the U.K. originaly and have been aware for several years of a link between H.R.T. and breast cancer. My husbands aunt was on hrt for 20 years before developing breast cancer so it does not always happen right away. Her doctor did connect the two.My older sister died of breast cancer and I was diagnosed in March of this year so I am very concerned as my other sister is on HRT and insists on remaining on it.I only hope she is not making a terrible mistake.

melm
Posts: 105
Joined: Jan 2001

Brenda,
Yes, I was on Premphase for a year then switched to Prempro for 4 months. That is when I noticed pain in my breast and stopped taking it. I immediately had a mammogram and they found the cancer. I am 47, no BC in my family, no kids, still have my ovaries. I too am estrogen positive and since chemo I am now in menopause (soooo fun). Of course, during my treatment anytime my husband or I mentioned that we felt the HRT was a cause of the cancer, the doctors would act very indignant telling us , well...that can't be proven. Well, several of us ARE proof!
Hope you are having a "good" day too. Take care of yourself.
Love and peace,
Mel in AR

melm
Posts: 105
Joined: Jan 2001

Brenda,
Yes, I was on Premphase for a year then switched to Prempro for 4 months. That is when I noticed pain in my breast and stopped taking it. I immediately had a mammogram and they found the cancer. I am 47, no BC in my family, no kids, still have my ovaries. I too am estrogen positive and since chemo I am now in menopause (soooo fun). Of course, during my treatment anytime my husband or I mentioned that we felt the HRT was a cause of the cancer, the doctors would act very indignant telling us , well...that can't be proven. Well, several of us ARE proof!
Hope you are having a "good" day too. Take care of yourself.
Love and peace,
Mel in AR

lucy
Posts: 160
Joined: Nov 2000

Hi Brenda - I also was on HRT for 8 years before getting the breast cancer. My BC was also estrogen positive and I am on tamoxifen. I have 2 children and also have never been overweight and exercise a lot. I did have an Aunt that had breast cancer about 15 to 20 years ago, but still feel like the HRT is the cause of it with me.
But, everyday I thank God that I am still here and for all the good things in my life.
God Bless you all, Lucy

shirlann
Posts: 235
Joined: Oct 2001

Hi Brenda, I fought off docs for 25 years, insisting I use hormones. Well, I refused and got to 63 before BC developed. I had 2 aunts who died in their 40's with it. It is funny, for many years when you are diagnosed, the first thing they tell you is to stop hormones! What gives? Dr. Susan Love is so opposed she is working on a pill to oblate or stop women's periods for up to one year at a time to closer mimic the "natural" situation where we would be either pregnant or nursing, hence not ovulating, no estrogen "wash" every month, for most of our fertile lives. Interesting. I am so glad at last the truth may have come out. Gentle hugs, Shirlann

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

I just wanted to say that the data I have heard the past 10 years also says that less than ten percent of breast cancer is truly genetics. That isn't very many women in the big picture of things.
Don't worry ladies they'll come back in 5 years and say they were wrong and nothing to worry about seems to be the way with science and medicine.
Have a good Day all,
Tara24242

carolynj
Posts: 61
Joined: Apr 2002

Hi Brenda,
I was on HRT for 10 years before diagnosed with BC in 12/01. No history of BC in my family, children in my late 20's, active and in excellent health until my last mammo. I am estrogen positive and will be on Tamoxifen for 5 years.
I definitely feel that the HRT was the cause of my BC. I had questioned my GYN about going off of them many times, but was told to continue for the benefits.
Sure hope definite results can be found regarding the connection of HRT and BC so other women don't need to go through the ordeal that we've experienced.

Have a good day and hugs from Carolyn

georgeann
Posts: 44
Joined: Jun 2002

I too was put on HRT four years ago. Though I know genetics isn't a "big" factor in BC, I had no one in my family (traced back a long way) that had it either. And I have only one of the "risk" factors. My cancer is also estrogen positive, and when I finish with radiation I too will take Tamoxifen.
Did it "cause" the cancer? None of will ever know for sure, but it makes me feel better to know that in the support group I attend none of the other women were on HRT. And few had many risk factors.

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