The recent study by McMaster University researchers, which found consistent evidence that use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is associated with breast cancer globally, will only increase physician and patient confusion over efficacy of HRT, as it fails to make the all-important distinction between the types of HRT used by women in the group with higher incidence of breast cancer.
The study to be published in Jan 2012 Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health by McMaster University researchers found "convincing evidence" for a direct association between decreased HRT use after the WHI study and the declining incidence of breast cancer.
Dr. Erika Schwartz, a leading expert on bioidentical hormone therapy and Founder of the Bioidentical Hormone Initiative says: "The study fails to make the all-important distinction between types of HRT used in the group with higher incidence of breast cancer which experienced a more significant drop in the incidence of breast cancer after HRT discontinuation. There is a considerable body of data that supports the fact that there is no class effect in the case of HRT, meaning different estrogens and progestogens behave differently in the human body. Bunching all hormone therapies together only serves to hurt women and confuse physicians."
Until a clear understanding and better physician and public education separate the effects of non-human identical hormone preparations like Premarin and Provera ( medroxy progesterone acetate) from bioidentical hormones like 17-beta estradiol and progesterone, women will continue to suffer and doctors will continue to provide inadequate care.
Significant data also demonstrates consistently less risk and more protection to cardiovascular, neurologic and cancer profiles with the use of bioidentical hormones- estradiol and progesterone.
More information on the current state of evidence on the use of hormone replacement therapy please download the article: Hormone Replacement Therapy in the Geriatric Patient: Current State of the Evidence and Questions for the Future. Estrogen, Progesterone, Testosterone, and Thyroid Hormone Augmentation in Geriatric Clinical Practice: Part 1. Published in November 2011 Clinics in Geriatric Medicine.