HRT risk is determined by a variety of factors. From the type of HRT, when the patient begins using it, how long they use it, their age, and their overall health. The advantages of using HRT will differ between individuals. A large percentage of HRT can increase the risk of breast cancer. However, the risk is larger for people who use combination HRT, which involves both oestrogen and progestogen.
What is HRT?
Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT is a treatment that can reduce symptoms of menopause by replacing hormones that have been lost. This affects things like fertility and mood.
As your body stops producing oestrogen during menopause, this drug replaces it with female hormones. Hormone therapy is commonly used to treat menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and vaginal discomfort. While HRT is suggested for the treatment of menopausal symptoms, it should only be on a temporary basis.
Pros and Cons of HRT
With HRT, you can relieve menopause symptoms. However, you may face the risk of breast cancer, blood clots, and stroke.
Benefits of HRT
- Helping with vaginal dryness
- Protecting against bone loss that can lead to hip and spine fractures
- Reducing the risk of colon cancer
- Relieving hot flashes, especially at night
Benefits of HRT
- Breast cancer if you've been on oestrogen-progesterone combination medication for five years or longer. This risk lessens with the discontinuation of hormone therapy and is not related to oestrogen-only therapy.
- Endometrial cancer If you are on oestrogen-only replacement medication and still have a uterus.
- Blood clots in the legs and lungs could lead to a stroke (similar to the complications linked to hormonal birth control).
Does HRT increase the risk of breast cancer in women?
The increased risk is dependent on the length of time you use HRT, and it decreases once you stop using it.
How much does HRT increase breast cancer risk?
Researchers found that HRT users had a 46% greater risk of breast cancer recurrence than non-users.