05. Weigh the risks and benefits<br />of hormone therapy<br />for menopause symptoms
Research shows that combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases certain health risks, and protects against others. Many studies around the world have looked at the connection between HRT and increased breast cancer risk. The results show that women who use HRT have a higher risk of breast cancer than women who have never used HRT, and that the risk increases the longer a woman uses these therapies. One study found that for women receiving combined HRT for five or more years, their breast cancer risk was 35% higher. There is even greater risk among HRT users who are also heavy alcohol drinkers.
The good news is that after women stop taking these hormone therapies, their risk of breast cancer will decrease again over time.
What you can do:
If you are considering taking hormone therapy to relieve your menopause symptoms, it’s important to understand that using combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases your risk of breast cancer. Your doctor can help you weigh the different risks and benefits to decide what’s right for you. If you do decide to use this therapy, take the lowest dose possible, for the shortest possible time.