It's day seven in our nine day series highlighting key steps and practical tips that can help women lower their risk of breast cancer. Previous days.
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Day 7 - Avoid Postmenopausal Hormones
The issue still comes up in the news, and study results still get parsed and discussed, but in the end, the basic conclusion about postmenopausal hormones and breast cancer remains the same: While postmenopausal hormones can effectively treat moderate to severe symptoms of menopause, when it comes to breast cancer, it’s best to avoid them long term.
If women choose to take postmenopausal hormones to relieve menopausal symptoms (like night sweats, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness), it should be for the shortest period of time possible – not more than 1 – 3 years. And they shouldn’t be taken long term with the intent of lowering the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease or osteoporosis.
The best person to talk to about the risks and benefits of postmenopausal hormones is your doctor.
Tips and Tricks – Postmenopausal hormonesTry to deal with menopausal symptoms without postmenopausal hormones. Menopausal symptoms are no fun – to put it mildly. And finding relief from them is key. It’s best, though, to look past postmenopausal hormones and try to find relief in other ways. Physical activity, for example, can help with mood swings, troubled sleep, and forgetfulness. Identifying triggers (and then avoiding them) can help deal with hot flashes, as can some non-hormonal medications. Over-the-counter lubricants can help with vaginal dryness. At a certain point, symptoms may be so bad that it makes sense to consider postmenopausal hormones. Talk to your doctor about the best approach.
Next Steps – Postmenopausal hormonesLooking for more in-depth information on postmenopausal hormones? Here is a good source:
Excerpted from TOGETHER - Every Woman's Guide to Preventing Breast Cancer