The U.S. Preventative Task Force (USPTF) has had some strong opinions regarding less frequent breast cancer screening and prostate cancer screening.
They are now recommending that menopausal women should not use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) solely for the use of preventing chronic disease. I would have to agree.
Over 80% of women request HRT to relieve symptoms of hot flushes, night sweats, insomnia, fatigue, “foggy brain” and vaginal dryness. The ages of these women are usually in their 40’s and 50’s. The proposed recommendations do not apply to this age group. The statement is primarily for those women who do not have menopausal symptoms, but who want to use HRT to protect against heart disease, osteoporosis or dementia. I have some women who even want to be on hormones for softer skin and healthy hair.
For women over the age of 60, certain forms of HRT may cause more harm then good. Data from the Women’s Health Initiative (average age 64) suggested that estrogen and progestin increased the risk of blood clots, stroke, dementia, urinary incontinence and gall bladder disease. The hormones in the study were oral hormones, known as Prempro.
There are other types of HRT and different ways of dispensing hormones which may have different outcomes.
I counsel each of my patients and personalize their treatment based on personal health and family history.
Talk to your practitioner if you have questions about HRT and if it is the right choice for you.