Think twice before you say “yes”

Not  a  day  goes  by  without  me  talking  to  a  woman  who  has  been  on  hormonal  replacement  therapy  and  who  is suffering the consequences of the drug. Weight gain, tender breasts, painful, heavy legs, continuous menstruation in their late fifties, even in their seventies! They also complain of a bloated stomach or nausea as the drug also has an effect on the liver. In many instances, they ask for alternative help with their hot flushes as they are hastily taken off  the  drug  when  cancer  of  the  breast  is  diagnosed,  leaving  them  high  and  dry  after  being  told  to  take  hormonal replacement  therapy  as  if  it  is  the  miracle  drug  to sustain  a woman at  a  time of her  life when her  own  body  turns against  her  by  producing  less  oestrogen!  How  did  women  get  into  all  of  this  panic  around  menopause?  The proliferations  of  popular  women’s  magazines, which are supposed to  be informative  and helpful  in women’s  lives, get mileage from publishing alarmist articles about menopause. Medical information via press and TV do the same. The  journalists  draw  their  information  from  sources  which  are  not  always  substantiated,  such  as  internet  and opinions  of  people  in  the  field.  Even  professional  people  can  have  a  biased  view  which  is not  always  true.  In  this regard, I lay myself open to attack as I am obviously also expressing a view.

However,  the  information  leading  to  a  woman  deciding  to  use  hormone  replacement  therapy  becomes  of  no importance  when  she  is  diagnosed  with  a  life-threatening  breast  tumour.  She  really  does  not  care  who  is  right  or wrong. Point is, she is one of many who have become ill and now has to face the consequences of her choices to have started herself on this path. Does it matter to her at this stage to know for sure what caused the cancer? Not really. And so the professional people debate the issue for and against the use of hormones; how much, when and how to keep it safe. If it was safe, none of the changes in dosages and combinations would be necessary. Statistics are quoted to placate the user of the benefits outweighing the possible harmful side effects. Surely, the drug which increases  oestrogen  levels  must  be  questioned,  as  women  requiring  breast  cancer  treatment  are  swiftly  taken  off this  drug  again  to  suppress  their  oestrogen  levels!  Not  all  breast  cancers  are  caused  by  hormonal  replacement therapy  that  I  know.  But,  how  many  are?  Can  we  ask  for  an  answer  as  many  women  are  being  persuaded  to  go onto the drug, mainly for osteoporosis prevention, without warning them of a possible link to breast cancer. Surely the  consumer  should  know  all  the  possibilities  to  be  able  to  make  an  informed  choice,  or  are  we  still  stuck  in  the time when she has to do as she was told by someone else who knows what is best for her?

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