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Younger Women May Benefit From HRT

Study Shows Benefits When HRT Is Taken Soon After Menopause

Breast Cancer Risk continued...

"Breast cancer is the main thing my patients are worried about, " Kaunitz says. "The studies do indicate a small increase in breast cancer risk with the long-term use of combination therapy, but this does not appear to occur with estrogen-only therapy."

For women with bothersome menopausal symptoms who have not had hysterectomies, decisions about whether or not to take combination HRT should be made on a case-by-case basis, he says.

Salpeter agrees that family history of breast cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis should all be considered when weighing the risks and benefits of HRT.

"A woman with menopausal symptoms in her 50s who has a mother or aunt who has had hip fractures damned well better be on HRT," he says. "But a woman with a close family history of breast cancer may not feel comfortable taking it."

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