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  • Is ANY HRT safe w/ family history of breast cancer?

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    Old 05-15-2006, 05:27 AM   #1
    Mistyeyze
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    Is ANY HRT safe w/ family history of breast cancer?

    Hi everyone,

    My doctors appointment is coming up tomorrow. I want to talk to my doctor about my peri symptoms and how they are literally wrecking my life. I have never in my entire life been so miserable.
    Here is my problem-- I can not tolerate antidepressants. Years ago when my father died, I tried a few and I just couldn't take the side effects. They made me feel so strange and horrible, that I don't hold out hope that I can take them now.

    My other problem is my grandmother on my mothers side died from breast cancer in her 40's. My mom has always felt it was because she took HRT after a hysterectomy and that's why she got the breast ca. My mom has never taken HRT.

    Is there any HRT that is safe with a breast cancer family hisotry? Are bio-identical hormones safe? Is anything safe?

    Any insight would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Misty

     
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    Old 05-15-2006, 06:45 AM   #2
    MeezerMom
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    Post Re: Is ANY HRT safe w/ family history of breast cancer?

    I am not sure about the connection with breat cancer, but I do know that my regualr Dr. & my cardioligist took me off of my bio-idnetical hormones because of having a neart attack & the chance of forming blood clots...I asked him about the bio-identical ones & he said that "estrogen" is estrogen"....but he also said that if the symptoms are making life too miserable that I might have to go back to a small dose of them or try some progesterone cream...I know that I have not felt well or been able to find anything natural that will help so far...let me know if you do!

    Eve

     
    Old 05-17-2006, 11:46 AM   #3
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    Re: Is ANY HRT safe w/ family history of breast cancer?

    There is quite a bit of information out there on bioidentical hormones, but so far I haven't found any conclusive test results on the breast cancer issue. The argument is that regular HRT contains a high level of estrogen (synthetic) that can actually increase symptoms and risks.

    My mother had breast cancer (survivor) which was cased from taking HRT after her hysterectomy in her early 40's. So I am very concerned about that issue as well. My take on the bio hormones is that I am using a small dose and plan to monitor and adjust how I take it. I had a 2nd saliva hormone test after the first 6 months and did find that my estrogen and testosterone levels were a little high. So the Dr. rewrote my prescription. By the way, I specifically sought out this Dr. because she works with natural rememdies like bioidentical hormones.

    I think the best thing is to learn as much about the subject as you can. We have to be our own health advocates. Your Dr. may "pooh-pooh" bioidentical hormones because she knows nothing about them. Some Dr.'s think that peri menopause and menopause are just something we all go through and we just need to tough it out. Well, that wasn't an option for me.

    And seriously, if you haven't completely re-evalutated your lifestyle when it comes to eating and exercising, you could also be missing out on relief from some symptoms.

     
    Old 05-17-2006, 11:58 PM   #4
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    Re: Is ANY HRT safe w/ family history of breast cancer?

    Mistyeyze,

    My understanding is that estrogen cream for a dry vagina is safe, as it stays only in the applied area. But any hormones that get into the body (progesterone skin creams, pills, patches) are probably NOT good for someone with a family history of breast cancer. Your doctor, of course, will advise based on the latest study results.

    Let us know what your doctor says.

    --Rheanna

     
    Old 05-18-2006, 11:07 AM   #5
    Mistyeyze
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    Re: Is ANY HRT safe w/ family history of breast cancer?

    Well, I had my appointment and my doctor (female) seemed pretty well informed.

    What she said:

    All estrogen (natural or synthetic) acts the same in the body and bioidentical is not any different in terms of risk.

    Risk itself is not well understood, and she went on to explain how the studies were not well done.

    That today hrt levels are *much* lower than what they were doing years ago..... 4 times lower.

    I asked her if she were me, would she take hormones and she said yes.

    She felt that at my age (43) that a low dose birth control pill would even things out.

    So I got my script, haven't filled it yet as I need to wait for my period.

    btw- she was not at all in favor of progest. cream. Said it is not FDA approved and can cause more harm than good. She said she has had many patients develop problems on the cream.

    FWIW

     
    Old 05-18-2006, 12:11 PM   #6
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    Re: Is ANY HRT safe w/ family history of breast cancer?

    The reason some women develop problems on progest cream alone is that they may end up with too much progesterone, leaving their hormones yet still out of balance.

    I'm sure you are healthy as your doc wouldn't have prescribed the bcp for you otherwise. But they are hormones after all and not without certain risks. If they work for you, I'm sure it will be worth it to feel normal. Good luck!

     
    Old 05-18-2006, 12:18 PM   #7
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    Re: Is ANY HRT safe w/ family history of breast cancer?

    Mistyeyze,

    The important thing is to get regular checkups. It sounds like you have a sensible and knowledgeable doctor. The studies that have made everyone panicky about hormones were NOT done well, and leave a lot of things unanswered -- like who really is at risk. Nothing in life is for sure, but millions of women have been helped by hormones -- the main thing is to work closely with your doctor and make adjustments if anything changes.

    I hope the hormones help. They've certainly helped me!

    --Rheanna

     
    Old 05-18-2006, 02:33 PM   #8
    deinee
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    Re: Is ANY HRT safe w/ family history of breast cancer?

    I started on low dose BCP's several months ago. It really helped my heavy, long periods. I am still waiting for it to help all the other peri symptoms I have been having. Maybe I haven't given it long enough, but at least I am not anemic anymore and can wear light colored pants again. Let me know how your symptoms do on the pill. Ann

     
    Old 05-19-2006, 05:13 AM   #9
    Mistyeyze
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    Re: Is ANY HRT safe w/ family history of breast cancer?

    Hi again ladies,

    I got my period today so I think I will start the pill this Sunday.

    It's wierd to be going back on the pill-- haven't taken it since I was in my 20's-- but here we go. I remember back then (when I still felt immortal) I felt like it was risk free until that old age of 35 which seemed so far away.... now here I am, 43 about to start taking it.... yikes, lol...

    I would love to hear from anyone else who has gone this route for peri symptoms.... and I will definately report how this goes for me.

     
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