16 Jan Debunked: the Hormone Therapy Cancer Myth
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) does not cause cancer. However, that hasn’t stopped fearmongering around the issue from skeptics and economic competitors with an incentive to make such false claims.
Here, we’ll explore the real science behind hormone therapy and its safety profile as it relates to cancer.
How does bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) work
As humans age, we naturally lose levels of critical hormones – especially estrogen and progesterone for women and testosterone for men.
Because these sex hormones act as critical messenger molecules of the endocrine system, dropping levels have huge health implications across multiple systems – ranging from increased risk of cardiovascular disease to poor sexual performance to unwanted weight gain.
Bioidentical hormones are plant-derived synthetic hormones that safely and effectively boost circulating levels of critical hormones like testosterone for men and estrogen/progesterone for women, treating the symptoms associated with hormone deficiencies and improving quality of life (QOL) for patients.
Check out Dr. Moma’s authoritative blog post for more information about how BHRT works.
Can bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) cause cancer?
One of the most contentious debates in the medical community is whether BHRT causes cancer. Opponents of the therapy claim it does, but the evidence shows otherwise – with important caveats.
Here are some key considerations:
- Millions of American men and women safely receive HRT each year under proper medical supervision to treat a variety of conditions, including low testosterone and low estrogen that is treated with BHRT. That number is expected to more than double in the coming years.
- Research does show that risk of certain types of cancer can increase – but only when the hormones are improperly administered and dosed and, as a result, exceed the optimal range. As the saying goes, too much of anything good is a bad thing.
- That’s why the key to mitigating any cancer risk from BHRT is to get your hormones into the optimal ranges and keep them there. This is achieved through careful dosing adjustments made on an ongoing basis under the supervision of an experienced hormone specialist like Dr. Moma.
The bottom line: when you maintain your hormone levels in the optimal ranges, you significantly reduce or altogether eliminate the risk of adverse effects. You must consult an experienced healthcare provider with the appropriate training to achieve optimal hormone levels.
What about breast cancer risk and BHRT?
Opponents of BHRT claim that the therapy raises breast cancer risk in particular. However, when it’s done right under careful supervision, as Cancer Research UK notes, the increased risk is relatively small and can be compensated for by other, more critical lifestyle adjustments.
- Losing excess weight (which BHRT promotes)
- Eating a low-carb, whole foods-based diet
- Intermittent fasting
- Reducing alcohol intake
- Quitting smoking
Most importantly, the proven potential anti-aging health benefits of BHRT explored in the upcoming section outweigh the minimal risks for the vast majority of patients – especially when they begin therapy early.
Learn more about the multiple anti-aging health benefits of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy in Dr. Moma’s blog post on that topic.
Contact Dr. Moma for authoritative, science-based information about hormone therapy
Part of Dr. Moma’s mission in her clinical practice is to equip patients with up-to-date, authoritative information based on current research. To learn more about bioidentical hormone therapy and its benefits and risks, contact Dr. Sylvienash Moma, DNP.