|ESTROGEN DEFICIENCY DISEASE:
April 8, 1997
Your questions were answered by author and breast surgeon, Dr. Susan Love, and Dr. Charles Hammond, a fellow with the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
in this forum:
Could severe reactions to birth control pills contraindicate Hormone Replacement Therapy later in life? How effective are "natural" hormones as an alternative to traditional medicines? Should women with a history of breast cancer avoid estrogen therapy? Are there studies looking at the relationship between menopause and lost time at work? Could women in their 80s and 90s risk overdosing their systems with by taking estrogen? Additional Comments
March 27, 1997:
Reversing a recent panel of medical experts, The American Cancer Society advises women in their 40's to receive annual mammograms.
January 24, 1997:
National medical experts meeting in Washington, D.C. say women in their 40's should decide for themselves whether to have annual mammograms.
A position paper on the pro's and con's of taking estrogen at the onset of menopause.
An extensive reading list on menopause.
Estrogen Deficiency Disease?
As 40 million women turn 50 years old in the next decade, it won't be enough to describe those hot flashes as menopause when they fill out medical forms any longer. Instead, according to many in the medical and pharmaceutical industries, millions of women will have contracted a disease known as Estrogen Deficiency.
The cure? Hormone Replacement Therapy for the rest of their lives. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology is recommending that every postmenopausal woman be on replacement hormones such as Premarin indefinately to ward off heart disease, osteoporosis, and other serious problems experienced during and after menopause.
Opponents to this recommendation, such as breast surgeon and author, Dr. Susan Love, are concerned that although hormone therapies may prevent some diseases, they also can cause others. Key among these are breast and uterine cancer as well as blood clots and gall bladder disease.
Dr. Love does believe estrogen therapies are helpful for women who have had hysterectomies, and does not object to using them up to the natural age of menopause. She also believes that short term use of hormones - between three to five years - for balancing the adverse affects of hot flashes, insomnia, bloating, blurred vision, etc. that the onset of menopause can bring, is not dangerous.
Dr. Love is concerned the recommendation that postmenopausal women remain on hormone therapies until the end of their lives is far too sweeping.
Our forum ponders: If such a highly respected organization as the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology believes long term hormone therapies are extremely beneficial for most postmenopausal women, then there must be much merit to them.
Alternatively, women have gone through menopause as a natural part of life's cycle since the beginning of time. Are we trying too hard to "stop the clock," inviting new problems to emerge?
Your questions were answered by Dr. Charles Hammond, a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and by breast surgeon, Dr. Susan Love, author of "Dr. Susan Love's Hormone Book."