Hormone replacement therapies (HRT) are often prescribed to women facing menopause to help relieve harsh symptoms like hot flashes and dryness. The transition of menopause often begins for women around the ages 45 and 55 and is caused by a shift in the body’s sex hormone production. Estrogen and progesterone are two of the most commonly used hormones and there are currently around 12 million users of HRT. A study recently published in the journal The Lancet based on an analysis of data from 58 other studies on HRT, revealed that the longer a woman uses HRT, the greater the risk she has of developing breast cancer. It also concluded that in comparison to women who use estrogen-only hormone therapies, women who use estrogen-progestogen hormone therapies have greater risks for breast cancer. This research is important for both doctors and women to take into consideration before deciding to begin hormone replacement therapy and Dr. Janice Rymer, gynecologist and vice president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the United Kingdom, stated, “The link between HRT and an increased risk of breast cancer has been known for some time. But it is a complex relationship.”
Update by Rachel Rolband:
Many folks who are looking to prevent breast cancer or may be experiencing it themselves or with a loved one, may not know how interconnected it is with sleep. Experts have found that the quality and quantity of sleep we have may be a risk factor and for those who are fighting breast cancer, sleep plays a crucial part in their fight.
With October being breast cancer awareness month, our team felt it was important to make our guide Breast Cancer and Sleep:
Our experts explain the connection between sleep health, breast cancer risk, and even how insomnia is a challenge for those undergoing cancer treatment. We provide tips for healthier sleep for those interested in breast cancer prevention or who may be receiving treatment. We also uncover how certain conditions may enhance risk, like being on a night shift work schedule or having sleep apnea.