The Link between HRT and Breast Cancer

Dee Atkinsonby Dee Atkinson MNIMH
Medical herbalist. 23 August 2016

This morning’s breaking news that using combined oestrogen and progesterone HRT can increase the risk of developing breast cancer will not be welcomed by the many women who were previously reassured by NICE’s much publicised announcement earlier this year that there was “no increased risk” of cancer for those using HRT.

This not the first time that researchers have found a link between the use of HRT and serious health issues such as ovarian cancer and stroke, which I previously blogged about here. But now, new findings by the Institute of Cancer Research and Breast Cancer Now suggest the original risk of developing breast cancer was actually underestimated. 

It is odd how we seem to be pulled this way and that by the results of yet another clinical trial. When I was growing up we were told to stop eating butter and to eat margarine. Now we seem to be leaning back towards butter - and, let’s be honest, who ever really wanted to eat margarine anyway! What this kind of thing shows us is that we are all, at some level, worried about our health and eager for information on how to best manage it. We especially love the idea of a pill we can pop to remove symptoms of something which is, after all, a natural process.

If we take a closer look, we might realise that all women in the world, who are lucky enough to reach a certain age (the average being 52), experience menopause.  So, it’s time to take a reality check. The menopause is normal and natural and we need to ask ourselves if we’ve always had such awful symptoms and if this really has, historically, been part of the aging package?

I would say the answer is “No”. We have made the situation worse with lifestyle choices, stress, diet issues and, probably, with using hormone altering drugs, such as the pill, in the past.

I think it is time to look again at all the plant based solutions to menopause and I have blogged about this in the past here. We have many, many herbs to help women with the symptoms - some of them are well known others less so. If you are concerned about these latest findings, then a herbal consultation is a big step in the direction of managing the menopause naturally.

To make an appointment with Dee Atkinson or any other member of our Herbal Medicine team, please call 0131 255 5542 for Edinburgh (and 0141 339 5859 for Glasgow).

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