Does Hormone Replacement Treatment During Menopause Increase Cancer Risk?

If you or someone you know is going through menopause and the doctor suggests HRT  i.e. Hormone Replacement Treatment. Before taking the treatment its better know how will it affect your overall health.

Some researches suggest that Hormone Replacement Treatment during menopause may increase risk of several types of cancer. We shall discuss each one of them  taking Hormone Replacement Treatment.

Hormone Replacement Treatment is a therapy involves female sex hormones to replace hormones that the patient’s body has stopped producing after menopause.

Doctors at one point of time thought that HRT acted as a shield and protected against heart diseases but after some more researches it has been proved that Hormone Replacement Treatment doesn’t help reduce risk related to heart.

HRT basically helps to reduce discomfort and symptoms women undergo during menopause and it also helps to reduce osteoporosis risk. Osteoporosis affects women where in bones start to thin or say reduced bone density. However it may be noted that HRT is not prescribed to prevent osteoporosis.

There are two types of Hormone Replacement Treatment – Oestrogen only HRT & Combined HRT  containing Oestrogen and Progesterone – both female sex hormones.
A doctor will not advise a patient to go for Oestrogen only HRT if she has not had a hysterectomy because Oestrogen only HRT increases the risk of endometrial cancer in such a case. However, combined HRT is a safe option and doesn’t involve risk of endometrial cancer.

A report released very recently showed that taking either type of Hormone Replacement Treatment increases the risk (even though very slightly) of ovarian cancer.

Approx million women were under observation during this research/study. If HRT is taking for a long period of time the risk increases likewise but it the treatment is stopped, after a few years the risk of ovarian cancer returns to normal.

Risk of breast cancer increases and Hormone Replacement Treatment has been associated for a long time. It does increase the risk of breast cancer. But various results as an outcome of such studies done at various times have been confusing. It is not clear which type of HRT – Oestrogen only HRT or Combined HRT – is more risky as far as breast cancer goes.

If women has breast cancer and at the same time has very severe menopause symptoms and no other treatment or therapy is helping then under this circumstance doctor may prescribe HRT for the patient.

The longer the HRT lasts, the risk of breast cancer increases that much more. But after several years of its discontinuation the risk is likely to return to normal.

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