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increased risk of venous thromboembo- a 24% reduction of breast cancer deaths menopause or during perimenopause to
lism (VTE), or blood clots. In each of the among women during the first ten years provide protection for the cardiovascular
two hormone therapy arms of the WHI, of hormone replacement. system, maintain adequate bone mass
an increase in VTE was reported. Trans- Beginning hormone replacement and body composition, enhance sexual
dermal estrogen has been shown to elim- therapy at the onset of menopause and desire and responsiveness, preserve cog-
inate the thromboembolic effects noted continuing for 10 years significantly nitive function, and minimize the un-
by orally administered estrogens. Two reduced the incidence of Alzheimer’s pleasant symptoms associated with the
studies published in Circulation, the Jour- disease in the Cache Cohort Study pub- menopausal transition. Women would be
nal of the American Heart Association, in lished in 2002. Women who began HRT best served to seek out a physician spe-
2005 and 2007 showed that transdermal ten years or later had an increased in- cializing in bioidentical hormone thera-
estrogens did not increase the risk for cidence of Alzheimer’s. Similar results py. The most effective hormone balanc-
blood clots, even when combined with were reported in the journal, Menopause, ing is achieved within a broader program
micronized progesterone. in 2005: replacing hormones early in addressing lifestyle modificatons, proper
menopause and continuing them for sev- nutrition and nutritional modulation of
Breast Cancer eral years protected against cognitive de- hormone metabolites, high quality nutri-
cline and that benefit persisted for up to tional supplements, liver-gut detoxifica-
Public perception that all hormone 15 years later. tion, regular exercise, stress management
preparations cause breast cancer was Although the controversy surrounding and adequate sleep. Remember, aging is
fueled by the notoriety gained in the the use of hormone replacement therapy inevitable, but how you age is up to you.
media from the results of the combined is far from resolved, there is mounting ev-
estrogen-progestin arm of the WHI that idence of its benefits for most women. A
Dr. Desmond Ebanks is a board certified
ostensibly revealed an increased risk of recent study in Menopause reported that
internal medicine physician specializing
invasive breast cancer among hormone a “significant proportion of obstetrician-
in age management medicine, bioidenti-
users. Those erroneous conclusions of gynecologists continue to express skep-
cal hormone modulation and optimizing
so-called experts have been refuted by ticism regarding the WHI results”. The
health at Alternity Healthcare, LLC, 639
Park Rd., West Hartford. 860-561-2294.
subsequent analyses. When corrected for medical and scientific community will
multiple breast cancer risk factors, the probably not reach any consensus until a
See ad on page 2.
results were no longer considered statis- definitive randomized trial is conducted
tically significant. Additionally, the com- directly comparing synthetic hormones
bined WHI arm was discontinued after 5 with bioidentical hormones, while taking
years, and most cancer researchers agree into account age, risk factors, timing and
it takes 7-10 years of dividing for a breast route of administration, and differing bio-
cancer cell to become a detectable le- logic activity during the crucial first ten
sion. This further suggests that hormone years of menopause.
replacement was not the cause of breast That being said, there is ample evi-
cancer. A large review of studies prior dence to recommend hormone replace-
to WHI published in the New England ment for most women. Bioidentical
Journal of Medicine, 1997 demonstrated hormone therapy should be initiated at
October 2009
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