Leading US oncologist Dr Avrum Bluming joins Dr Louise Newson to talk about the crucial role of oestrogen in women’s health.
Despite HRT’s proven benefits in protecting against heart disease, bone fracture and cognitive decline, many women still avoid it over breast cancer fears.
It’s been more than 20 years since media headlines about a study called the Women’s Health Initiative linked HRT to an increased risk of breast cancer. In this podcast, Dr Bluming says that in fact we now know oestrogen alone decreases the risk of breast cancer development by 23% and risk of death from breast cancer by 40%.
He also disputes the findings of the WHI study that combined progesterone and oestrogen HRT leads to a small increase in breast cancer cases.
‘It is very upsetting when such an influential study continues to misquote their own data,’ says Dr Bluming, who has spent 25 years studying the benefits and risks of HRT in breast cancer survivors.
Dr Bluming points out that oestrogen used to be a treatment for breast cancer before chemotherapy was developed, and that rates of breast cancer increase as we age, despite the fact our oestrogen levels fall as we get older.