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Is it safe for a woman to use HRT after breast cancer?

By October 22, 2008 - 9:17am
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I had breast cancer in '93 and had a masectomey. I have been on Evista for 15 years now. I have also tried all types of HRT. What do you feel is the safeest way for me to take HRT? Life without HRT is not an option.

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HERWriter Guide

Hi CCBaja - thank you for your question!

I'm sure you know that reliable links have been found between HRT and the recurrence of breast cancer.

According to the National Cancer Institute, "breast cancer survivors who took hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to relieve menopausal symptoms had more than three times as many breast cancer recurrences as survivors who did not take HRT, a new study from Sweden has found. The study - which was stopped ahead of schedule because of these findings - was the first randomized clinical trial to examine the effect of HRT in women with breast cancer."

While this study does not mean that every breast cancer survivor should avoid HRT completely, it does show the serious side effects of HRT on breast cancer survivors and show that the risks may outweigh the benefits. Most other studies have shown that HRT generally increases any woman's risk of breast cancer, whether she has had cancer before or not.

Evista does not do anything to reduce your risk of breast cancer returning.

I know many women really depend on HRT during or after menopause but please talk to your doctor because as a breast cancer survivor, your risk is higher of a recurrence while on HRT. It's up to you and your doctors to really weigh both the benefits and risks and then it comes down to you to make the final decision.

I hope this helps somewhat and congratulations on battling breast cancer and winning!

October 22, 2008 - 1:27pm
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