Physicians increasingly concerned about breast cancer campaign’s misleading message

Cancer, Medical Economics, Woman's Health
One of my most read blogs in recent months is this one: "Nurse practitioner writes about her decision to stop getting mammograms." Now, for a fitting follow-up, there's an even more stunning opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times by physician H. Gilbert Welch of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. Dr. Welch has put into print what many women's health professionals have been discussing behind closed doors recently. He says that he's concerned that the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month "has led women to be more fearful of breast cancer than they need be: the '1 in 8' or '1 in 9' statistic, in particular, serves as a poster child for how to exaggerate risk." He is also "equally troubled" by the "relentless promotion of screening mammography…
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Hormone therapy helpful for younger women?

General Health, Woman's Health
Hormone therapy (formerly called HRT or hormone replacement therapy) may pose little risk to younger women, and could even help some aspects of their health - but any benefit appears to disappear as women age, according to a new study. Among more than 70,000 postmenopausal women, some of whom had elected to take hormone therapy (HT), younger HT-users were less likely to die from all causes over a nearly 10-year period than women of the same age who had never taken HT. However, as women aged, taking HRT was no longer associated with a lower risk of death. Here are the details in a report from Reuters Health: "Whatever benefits there are for younger women, they don't really persist for older women," study author Dr. Daniel Stram of the Keck School…
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Hormone therapy after menopause may worsen breast cancer

Cancer, General Health, Woman's Health
The CBS Evening News recently reported, "For women going through menopause, the decision about whether to take hormone replacement therapy has been controversial and confusing." In 2009, "40 million prescriptions for hormones were filled here in the US, but there's new evidence tonight that this treatment may be even riskier than previously thought." ABC World News also covered the story, reporting, "The Women's Health Initiative reports today that among post-menopausal women, the use of estrogen and progestin is not only linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, but the kind that kind of cancers that have higher fatality rates. The safety of more hormone replacement therapy was first questioned in 2002." NBC Nightly News, not to be outdone, reported, "Our lead story tonight has to do with an emotional…
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