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Community Commentary: Women, don't be afraid to take hormones

July 13, 2011|By Jane Bening

This brings me to the second phobia. You know: breast cancer. Data spanning the 50 years since the inception of BCH has repeatedly shown no association with breast cancer. Much of that research was done when pill doses were markedly higher than today.

The big Women's HealthInitiative, a poorly designed government study that put all MHT on its ear in 2002 found that the estrogen–only treatment group had no increase in breast cancer.

Suffice it to say, while we need more well-done research, females and their providers making decisions today have many reasons to confidently use hormones throughout life.

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As explained by Dr. Philip DiSaia, recent past chairman of both the American Board of Ob-Gyn and Gynecological Oncology at UCI Medical Center, BCH significantly reduce the national incidence of ovarian cancer.

This is an uncommon but deadly disease for which there is no successful screening. He concludes from medical evidence, and his venerable career, that there is no increase in breast cancer with MHT, and that the benefits outweigh the risks.

So, give this some thought. Question your health practitioners on the benefits and risks of birth control or menopausal hormones.

Adolescent girls and women, if you choose not to avail yourselves of these potentially health-enhancing and life-extending compounds, at least you can't use the fear of weight gain or breast cancer as excuses anymore.

JANE BENING is a board-certified gynecologist in private practice in Newport Beach.

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