A new study, as reported by Denise Grady in the New York Times on October 19, 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/20/health/20hormone.html?emc=eta1# has demonstrated that
“hormone treatment after menopause, already known to increase the risk of breast cancer, also makes it more likely that the cancer will be advanced and deadly,”
Women who took hormones and developed breast cancer were more likely to have cancerous lymph nodes, a sign of more advanced disease, and were more likely to die from the disease than were breast cancer patients who had never taken hormones.
To me this is just one more example of allopathic medicine playing fast and loose with the health of women and men.
I think that women, especially, are poorly served by the fact that doctors give them hormones, in the form of both Birth Control “Pills” before menopause, and Estrogen during and after menopause, without telling them the simple truth–namely that these are very strong drugs with lots of side affects. Its a question of dishonesty in the use of language. Avoiding the use of the word drug, leaves women with the impression they are simply adjusting what nature gave them.
No one tells women that the birth control pill is a drug, the fact that its a hormone makes a lot of women think of it as something natural; but it is no more natural than the drugs that are ILLEGAL for men and women to take if they plan to compete in any professional sports.
Steroids, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, cortisone are all drugs and need to be used in the case of last resort, not first.
I have a friend who is a neurologist, and we recently had this discussion. I was very surprised to hear that he is staunchly against birth control pills. I asked him why. He said that he sees 2-3 young women a year who have had strokes, as a “side affect” of the pill.
To me, no matter how much more fun sex with a long term partner who you know is free of STD’s is without barrier methods, it sure doesn’t justify the risk, in my mind.
And it is one thing to take some estrogen during menopause, quite another to stay on it the rest of your life. And people are, oddly, deceived by how tiny the pills are. How many women tell me, “oh, i am taking the smallest amount…its just .625 milligrams.”
All I am is saying is let women make informed choices. Be honest with them that you are giving them a drug, be clear about the risks, and then let them choose. At the same time inform them as clearly of the alternatives, vis a vis alternative medicine. Acupuncture, for example, is well documented by the NIH to reduce hot flashes during menopause.
As for use of the pill to regulate painful periods and the like? I would certainly try Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine and Meditation and Tai Qi first. Even a first year acupuncturist with no experience can help probably 50% of the women she or he sees with Menopausal and Menstrual complaints.
Ayurveda, Acupuncture, and Chinese Medicine in San Diegohttps://www.bodymindwellnesscenter.com