Dr. William Creasman, an OB/GYN in gynecological oncology discusses how hormone replacement therapy is used to treat menopausal symptoms.
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How is hormone therapy used to treat menopause? The indication for hormone replacement therapy are obviously in women who are going through menopause and the FDA has three, I should say recommendations but there are three conditions in which they are indicated. One is what we call laser motor symptoms. Hot flushes, night sweats, irritability, insomnia, these types of things. The second is for vaginal health because when a woman goes through a menopause the lining of the vagina becomes very thin and this can lead to painful intercourse, bleeding after intercourse, these types of things. We call this vaginal health. It also decreases blood supply to the vagina. The third indication is prevention of osteoporosis and all of the data. I know no study that has been done that it hasn’t shown that there is prevention from osteoporosis. If you take a look at osteoporosis, for instance compared with breast cancer. In United States is estimated there is about 185,000 or 190,000 this year. In United States, there is about 350,000 hip fractures. Now, the data on hip fracture and courses in all the population is at 15% to 20% of those women or going to die within the first year from all kinds of things pulmonary embolus and an interesting statistics. Today if one gets breast cancer more and more of the vast majority of having a stage one cancer. If a woman has a stage one cancer, she has a five year survival of about 97%. So if you take and compare hip fractures, mortality, morbidity from hip fractures and for breast cancer the survival for breast cancer at ten years is greater and survival from hip fracture is at three months. So benefits, risks and everything we do has benefits hopefully but there is also some risks even though they maybe very, very small.