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Does Estrogen-Only HRT Decrease Breast Cancer Risk? Nationally Recognized Endocrinologist Dr. Marina Johnson Weighs In

IRVING, Texas, April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- For years menopausal women heard that estrogen increases breast cancer risk. A March 2012 study in Lancet Oncology analyzing data from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) reported that menopausal women taking estrogen only have a lower risk of breast cancer while women who take a combination pill (Prempro) of estrogen-progestin have an increased risk. Recognized endocrinologist Dr. Marina Johnson shares her thoughts on the data:

"At first glance this may seem contradictory since estrogen has been traditionally associated with increased breast cancer. It's important for women to know that estrogen does not cause NEW cancer cells to grow. Most invasive breast cancers come from abnormal premalignant cells that take decades to grow. Estrogen can promote growth of these premalignant cells so they become detectable on clinical exam or mammogram.

"When breast tissue is deprived of estrogen at menopause for 5 years or longer, premalignant cells shrink. This was the case in the WHI women who had been menopausal on NO HRT for 8 years or longer. When estrogen is initiated within 3 years of menopause there's an increased risk of breast cancer. However, a French E3N cohort study showed that if you chose natural estradiol and progesterone over synthetic estrogens and progestins, there's no increased breast cancer risk, even if you start it within 3 years."

So here's Dr. Johnson's take-home message: "You don't need to delay starting HRT if you choose natural estradiol and progesterone over synthetic estrogens and progestins. Don't endure symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, depression, sexual dysfunction, mental confusion, and weight gain. Start HRT within 10 years of menopause for the most protection against Heart Disease, Alzheimer's and Osteoporosis.

"Avoid the increased heart attacks and strokes seen in WHI by choosing topical estrogen in the form of patches, gels, creams and mists that are available at any drug store. Pharmaceutical natural hormones (also called bioidentical hormones) are superior to compounded bioidentical hormones because they are required to meet higher standards for quality control and efficacy." 

Read more in Dr. Johnson's book, "Outliving Your Ovaries: An Endocrinologist Weighs The Risks And Rewards Of Treating Menopause With Hormone Replacement Therapy" ( (Eyesong Publishing, February 2011), which is available in paperback, e-book and can be shipped internationally.

Dr. Marina Johnson, a pharmacist and UCLA/USC-trained physician, is board-certified in Endocrinology and Internal Medicine. Her book is supported by 450 journal articles and 30 years of clinical experience. Dr. Johnson was an invited speaker at the Cleveland HeartLab Annual Symposium in September 2011. She's been a featured guest on Lifetime Television, Daystar Television and national radio. She is a regular contributor at:,, and Living Better at 50+. She's been featured in Self Magazine, Enterprising Women Magazine and many national publications.

Media Inquiries:

Christy Cahela
Senior Publicist
Eyesong Publishing

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SOURCE Dr. Marina Johnson


Posted: April 2012