Article in today's newspaper

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Did anyone else read the article in today's newspaper on HRT and government guidelines, and how they're being influenced by pharmaceutical companies?

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  • Posted

    No what did it say, please
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    • Posted

      To quote just a bit of it (it was two pages in the mail) ' if NICE's guidelines are followed there could be up to 7,000 extra cases of breast cancer within 10 years ... other breast cancer risk factors, including being overweight, inactivity, alcohol, smoking and family history of the disease, pale into insignificance compared with the increased risks linked to HRT'.  It was a Professor McPherson saying this and he was the chap who said how wrong it was that my GP had given me three times the recommended dose of vagifem for 16 months, telling me it was quite safe but that we'd have difficulty proving it had caused the endometrial cancer.

      In the same article today  Professor Beral said 'about one million UK women are currently using hormones for the menopause and among them about 10,000 extra breast cancers are etimated to occur in the next ten years and about 1,000 extra ovarian cancers'.  The point of the article is that many on the panel encouraging the use of HRT have financial interests involved in it.

      I believe they are talking, generally, about forms of HRT that are from estrogen and progesterone though.  It's the unopposed estrogen (estrogen without the use of progesterone) that has the risk of endometrial cancer.  Matron, do feel free to add anything here or correct me if I'm wrong.

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    • Posted

      I just looked up coconut oil after Beverly asked and it seems that it is quite safe and yes, Beverly, you were right about it being antifungal and antibacterial.  I'm even more impressed with it now LOL!
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  • Posted

    chris, can you send us a link to it please?
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  • Posted

    Thanks for the article Chris. It is very frightening looking at the statistics which state that HRT doubled the risks of breast cancer if taken for five years or more. I think based on this evidence it will give women more information to make their own choice whether to take it or not. It appears that it may be ok to take for a short period of time.
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    • Posted

      Yes, also to be taken into account - although my experience of local estrogen (vagifem) wasn't good (I had cancer after 16 months of triple the recommended dose) I believe the estrogen only treatment isn't as likely to cause breast cancer as the HRT with estrogen AND progesterone, but the estrogen only does have risks of endometrial cancer if there is an intact uterus.  But this is something every woman needs to research and make a choice on. 
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    • Posted

      Was this study in reference to the oral pill.I keep reading vagifem and premerine only used in that area is very safe?Of course it has to be applied with only the recomended dosage.Personally I would have sued your doctor.
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    • Posted

      I THINK they were talking about the oral pill and possibly patches too.  But for vagifem and anything else, do read the manufacturers guidelines.  I know my GP overdosed me, but there are warnings on the vagifem site about the risk of endometrial cancer and other side effects.  Particularly in the first two weeks when you're using it every day (but I believe it needs this boost initially, to work) some is absorbed systemically, so it does go further than just the vagina.  The problem was how could we PROVE it was cause by the vagifem.  Klim McPherson was very helpful, and while he obviously thought there was a possibility, he thought legally we'd be hard pushed to prove that was the cause, because some women get endometrial cancer who haven't used it, if you see what I mean, but he did clearly say I'd had a sub standard service from the GP.  The worst of it was I was SO against any use of hormones because my Mum had died from breast cancer, but my GP kept telling me it was safe, and even after the endometrial cancer was STILL telling me that the dose she'd given me was safe!  There are other GP's at the practice I go to, so I just don't see her any more.  I think though, and this is just my personal opinion, if anyone uses something like vagifem, then it needs to be at the minimum recommended dose and as they say on their site, for the shortest time.  But what I don't understand is what happens when 'the shortest time' is up and women get the same problem as soon as they stop using it!  There just seems to be a bit of a void of possibilities for that scenario.
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    • Posted

      Oh i am sure the vagifem warns of any possible bad outcome from the drug..i guess i was thinking malpractice as she put you at risk when she should have known better.
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    • Posted

      But to achieve that they needed to be able to prove that it had caused the cancer, and it was the proving of it that was the difficulty.  But we did report it to Vagifem who wrote to her - they were appalled.  Vagifem used to do a 25mg pessary but stopped it because of the risks and went down to the 10mg pessaries.  But the GP said loads of people that she'd put on the 25mg pessaries twice a week had been fine so she couldn't see why I'd have a problem with 6 lots of 10mg pessaries per week.  But since vagifem had stopped those because of the problems, that had to say something!
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    • Posted

      Wow so sorry you went through so much.My sisterinlaw just went through an unnecessary surgery,they thought she had a mass..cut her open and nothing..although they swore they saw it on a ct scan.
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    • Posted

      Phew - that's shocking about your sister in law!    But I'm fine now, thanks.  I know there is a slight risk of recurrence, but I just sort of look at that as having a similar risk to anyone else of having it crop up, so I don't dwell on it really now.  It was a bad time - the worst was when they'd told me it was cancer and I had to wait 6 weeks for the op - that was the worst time of my life, but it all seems a long time ago now:-)
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    • Posted

      So sorry for all you went through. I have a question if someone can answer. Is/isnt estrogen cream just as risky as taking estrogen pills? My Dr said creams have a cancer risk, but low. I read the article everyone is mentioning but does the report mean estrogen creams also? I thought it did. This is all new to me. But I keep reading women using cream getting cancer.
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    • Posted

      No i dont believe so,it stays more localised where the pill goes through your entire system.I believe i read vagifem is the safest..if dosed correctly as it stays pretty much where it is put.im no doctor,just trying to remember what ive read.
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    • Posted

      It was good of your doctor to tell you about the risk.  So many don't!  I did read sometime back that there was more risk with creams than pessaries but that was because pessaries were a specific dose where the report said that creams were more likely to be over used, but I've since heard that some creams come with applicators, so not sure how that would happen.  The report, I believe, was more about general HRT that was involving progesterone as well as estrogen, which is the bigger breast cancer risk as I understand it, whereas estrogen on it's own is a bigger risk of endometrial cancer if there is a womb there, but I'm not a doctor, so anyone taking hormones in any form should check them out online themselves.  I think any hormones should be taken for the minimum time, as the manufacturer recommends, but then I have no idea what women should do if the problems flare up as soon as they stop the hormone treatment!
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    • Posted

      Also ive read might be wise to try the lowest dose possible at first to see if it can control symptoms.i am thinking of trying hrt but will ask to start on lowest dose that could prove affective.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for all your replies, my rx is premarin but I he's so much on vagifem on this site, is it just a UK drug? Or available in U.S. also? Does it have less side effects? My only other choice was estrace and I'm getting all confused as there all made different I'm reading.
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    • Posted

      This is for vagifem:  Generally, when estrogen is prescribed for a postmenopausal woman with a uterus, a progestin should also be considered to reduce the risk of endometrial cancer.

      Risks From Systemic Absorption

      Vagifem is intended only for vaginal administration. Systemic absorption occurs with the use of Vagifem. The warnings, precautions, and adverse reactions associated with the use of systemic estrogen-alone therapy should be taken into account.

       

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    • Posted

      That's right.  The only problem I found was the applicator making me sore so I took the pessary out of the applicator and used a finger.  But I got a lot of irritation from using vagifem (which got worse when my doctor increased the dose).
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    • Posted

      I just tryed vitamin e.pierced the capsule and just applied with finger to vulva and entrance..have you ever used it.right now feels soothing in an hr i prob will wish i didnt do it lol

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