Hormone Replacement Therapy and Cancer Risk

Two years ago, the Women’s Health Initiative Study by the National Institutes of Health (a department of our government) came to a premature, screeching halt. This was a study researching the effects of hormone replacement therapy on women. The study was abruptly terminated due to the startling findings.

Hormone replacement therapy has been widely used to treat menopausal symptoms. During a woman’s change of life her body reduces estrogen production which may lead to hot flashes and other common symptoms. Adding estrogen alleviates these, sometimes, undesirable symptoms.

This study discovered that hormone replacement therapy can be very hazardous because it increases ovarian, breast and uterine cancer, as well as, heart attacks and strokes. These findings sent a shock wave through the medical and media communities. This was front page news across the nation.

Two years later, one-third of women that were taking hormone replacement have stopped taking the potentially harmful drugs. This is almost as shocking. One would have thought that the opposite would have been true, where only one-third of women would have remained taking hormone replacement therapy. It seems that women or their medical doctors aren’t familiar with safe and natural alternatives. This is understandable because the use of alternatives may not be part of a medical doctors standard of care.

Most people are unaware that the estrogen used for this class of drugs comes from the urine of pregnant mares. The horses are continuously impregnated so that they produce estrogen. They are kept in confined stalls and dehydrated so that the urine is concentrated and easy to collect. Therefore, not only may hormone replacement therapy be harmful to women but it is inhumane to the horses as well.

The safe and natural alternatives to hormone replacement therapy come from plant sources. They are don quai, black cohosh, red raspberry, chaste tree, red clover, wild yam root and flaxseed products. Also, the following soy based products: tofu, miso and tempeh can be beneficial. There is still good news about soy, but not the processed and refined soy products, it must be of the fermented variety. Products containing one or more of these ingredients are readily available from alternative health care providers and health food stores. Hopefully, more women will choose natural hormone replacement therapy instead of the potentially dangerous estrogens which are found in conventional hormone replacement therapy.

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