New England Journal of Medicine Says Long-Term HRT Probably Caused Breast Cancer in 200,000 Women.
The Research: Chlebowski RT, Kuller LH, Prentice RL, “Breast Cancer after Use of Estrogen plus Progestin in Postmenopausal Women,” NEJM Vol 360:573-587 February 5, 2009.
The Conclusion: “In summary, the increased risk of breast cancer associated with estrogen-plus-progestin therapy declined markedly soon after discontinuation of the therapy and was unrelated to a change in the use of mammography. This finding supports the hypothesis that the recent reduction in the incidence of breast cancer among women in certain age groups in the United States is predominantly related to a decrease in the use of combined estrogen plus progestin.”
Comment: This is “official” confirmation that the dramatic drop in breast cancer in postmenopausal women in 2003 occurred as a result of synthetic HRT prescriptions dropping by 66 percent after the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) found that estrogen-plus-progestin HRT (e.g. PremPro) increased the risk of breast cancer, stroke, heart disease and gallbladder disease. In other words, breast cancer rates have plummeted, thanks to the fact that millions of women abandoned their synthetic HRT.
This conclusion was obvious a few years ago simply by commonsense logic, but the estrogen-plus-progestin HRT folks (aka drug company shills) continued to do the “say it ain’t so dance.” Much like the hapless knight in the classic Monty Python sketch, they have no legs to stand on or arms to swing with, but continue their ridiculous battle anyway, trying desperately to find a way to make conventional HRT seem like a safe, effective and acceptable medical choice for women.
According to the study’s lead author, Dr. Rowan T. Chlebowski, long-term (synthetic) HRT probably caused breast cancer in 200,000 women between 1992 and 2002. The majority of those 200,000 women endured biopsies, surgeries, chemo and/or radiation. Their lives and those of their families were disrupted and their bank accounts undoubtedly suffered. In fact, medical bills are one of the leading causes of bankruptcy among middle class Americans.
About 22 percent of women who get breast cancer die from it, so by extrapolation we can infer that some 44,000 women died during that decade due to taking synthetic HRT.
My friend, mentor and co-author, Dr. John Lee, began speaking out about the association between synthetic HRT and breast cancer back in the early 1990s; there was plenty of research even then pointing to the cause and effect. The research mounted over the years, and when we submitted our book, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Breast Cancer, to the publisher in the fall of 2001, the evidence was overwhelming. Still, mainstream medicine ignored the evidence until the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study was halted and results released in the summer of 2002, showed that synthetic HRT definitively increases the risk of breast cancer.
Here’s an article Dr. Lee wrote shortly after the results of the WHI were published:
HRT, Breast Cancer and the Women's Health Initiative: Conventional HRT finally gets the negative press it deserves.
Here’s an article I wrote in 2006, Why Breast Cancer Rates Dropped.
Many women write and ask whether bioidentical hormones carry the same risk of breast cancer as synthetic HRT. This article helps to answer that question: Bioidentical Hormones and Breast Cancer Risk.