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What are the benefits and risks of hormone replacement therapy?

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Many studies have looked at the association between hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and breast cancer. The best evidence for the benefits and risks of hormone replacement therapy come from the Women's Health Initiative, a large study involving more than 27,000 post-menopausal healthy women. The results showed the risks of combined HRT with estrogen plus progestin outweigh the benefits. These risks included an increase in breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, and blood clots. Not only does combined HRT increase the risk of developing breast cancer, but it also increases the chances that the cancer will be discovered at a more advanced stage. This is because of its influence in reducing the effectiveness of mammography by creating denser breast tissue.

SOURCES: The American Cancer Society. 

National Cancer Institute.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation.

Reviewed by Louise Chang on August 4, 2018

SOURCES: The American Cancer Society. 

National Cancer Institute.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation.

Reviewed by Louise Chang on August 4, 2018

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What should you consider before taking hormone replacement therapy?

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