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Tuesday 9 November 2021

The Menopause, HRT, and Breast Cancer

I have written about the menopause, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and breast and cervical cancer many times before. To do so again is certainly deja vu! But headline health news recently provided us with "good" news - at least this is how it has been universally heralded:

HRT Prescription Charges to be Reduced.

       "The cost of repeat HRT prescriptions will be cut in a move set to save women who rely on the treatment 'hundreds of pounds per year', the government has announced. Working with NHS England, the government says it will look to implement longer prescribing cycles 'in line with NICE guidelines', so women receive fewer prescriptions, meaning they pay fewer prescription charges. The government has asked NHS England to review current practice and the barriers to implementing NICE guidance. To further improve access to HRT, the government will also look at the possibility of combining 2 hormone treatments into one prescription, so women only pay a single charge. It says this change would benefit around 10% of women accessing HRT".

Patients in particular were said to be delighted at the outcome - clearly the decision is going to save them money - and this is usually a good reason for delight! But should it be? The history of HRT is closely linked to breast and cervical cancer.

  • In the early 2000's, research began to demonstrate the strong link between HRT and cancer, to the extent that the research was stopped because it was considered unsafe, and unethical to continue.
       "....several trials produced results that were so bad they had to be discontinued.  In 2002, trials conducted by the Women’s Health Initiative in the USA, described as 'the largest and best designed federal studies of HRT'  was halted because women taking the hormones had a significantly increased risk of breast  and cervical cancer, heart attacks, stroke and blood clots. More trials were terminated in 2007, when a study of 5,692 women taking HRT raised similar concerns but added 'more definition to the health risks' (WDDTY 9 August 2007, source: British Medical Journal, 2007; 335: 239-44).
  • So from 2007, some 5 years too late, HRT was virtually suspended for several years.
  • Then, in 2015, like magic, HRT was rejuvenated. The research was discounted, so doctors could began prescribing it again, and so women began taking it again - in large numbers. HRT might cause breast cancer, heart problems and dementia, but (what the hell) women should take it anyway!
  • But then, in 2016, just one year later, there was a warning. HRT could cause breast cancer! As I said at the time, it was 'old news' presented as 'new news'. But nothing was done, no action was taken to protect women.
  • Now, a further 5 years on, we are being asked to rejoice - because these dangerous drugs are to be made available to women far cheaper than they were before.

What this demonstrates, of course, is that medical science has a short memory, even about its own research, and further, that this amnesia places patients at risk of dangerous and harmful drugs. It tells us that the conventional medical establishment is prepared to give patients pharmaceutical drugs, regardless of the harm they are known to cause!

So what does conventional medicine say about the causes of breast cancer? This is just one of the serious adverse reactions to HRT, but this is what the UK's NHS state

        "The causes of breast cancer are not fully understood, making it difficult to say why one woman may develop breast cancer and another may not."

If you persevere, and continue down the page, after causes such as 'age', 'family history', 'previous breast cancer and lumps', 'dense breast tissue' (all of which the patient, nor medicine can do anything about), you get to hormone replacement, and a recognition that "HRT is associated with an increased risk of developing breast cancer". Then it suggests that

        "There is no increased risk of breast cancer if you take HRT for less than 1 year. But if you take HRT for longer than 1 year, you have a higher risk of breast cancer than women who never use HRT."

Yet surely this is what the government has now negotiated for women, cheaper repeat prescriptions for a drug that should not be used for more than one year! What kind of medicine is this? It is more than amnesia. It provides patients with price incentives to take a dangerous drug for longer, against it's own current advice!

The NHS goes on to accept that "the increased risk of breast cancer falls after you stop taking HRT, but some increased risk remains for more than 10 years compared to women who have never used HRT".

The advice for women should surely be not to take HRT. But as pharmaceutical medicine has nothing else, certainly nothing safer to offer, it is prepared to prescribe a drug that has been proven to be lethal for women for many decades - since the 1940's.

And this is done by a medical system whose first principle is supposed to be "First, do no harm".

Yet there is an alternative, a safer medicine available. It is homeopathy. Homeopathy can deal with the menopause, and do so without causing breast and cervical cancer, heart problems, and dementia.

Why Homeopathy? for the Menopause.

Postscript: July 2022

HRT and the Menopause
So HRT was safe until the early 2000's: then it was so unsafe that research was stopped because these drugs were too dangerous; then new research in 2015 (financed by the pharmaceutical industry) 'proved' it was safe...... AND NOW "new evidence" is being considered that NICE guidelines might have to be renewed - because the drug is causing breast cancer.
    * When will conventional medicine learn?
    * When will patients learn that Con Med is not to be trusted?