|HRT MAKES LUNG CANCER WORSE|
Women's Health Initiative May 30, 2009
Lung cancer seems more likely to be fatal in women who are taking estrogen-progestin pills, according to this new study. Hormone users who developed lung cancer were 60% more likely to die from the disease as women who weren't taking hormones.
The new findings mean that smokers should stop taking hormones, and those who have not yet started hormones should give it careful thought, said Dr. Rowan Chlebowski of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, head of the research team.
This is the latest finding from the Women's Health Initiative, a federal study that gave 16,608 women either Prempro (combination synthetic estrogen and progestin) or dummy pills. The study was stopped in 2002 when researchers saw more breast cancers in those on Prempro, the estrogen-progestin pill made by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. They continue to follow what happens to women in the study.
The new analysis looked at non-small-cell lung cancer, by far the most common type.
Lung cancer proved fatal in 46% of hormone users who developed it versus 27% of those given dummy pills.
"It's another piece of evidence to suggest that hormone replacement therapy should be used with great caution," said Dr. Richard Schilsky, a cancer specialist at the University of Chicago and president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. "Women almost certainly shouldn't be using combined hormone therapy and tobacco at the same time," Chlebowski said.
Lung cancer is the world's top cancer killer. In the United States, there were more than 215,000 new cases and nearly 162,000 deaths from it last year.
Being that there are homeopathic and sometimes even herbal options that address menopausal symptoms, why take hormone replacement therapy in the first place? First it was breast cancer and now its lung cancer. How many cancers does it take for the conventional medical community to say enough?
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