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If you’re menopausal and considering hormone therapy, you first need to know that your formulation will depend on whether or not you’re still in possession of a uterus. Patients who have not had hysterectomies must take both estrogen and progestin, while those who have had this surgery can get by on estrogen alone. Progestin protects the uterus from too much estrogen exposure, which can otherwise increase your risk of endometrial cancer (which is cancer of the uterine lining).
Each of these formulations comes with its own unique set of risks and benefits. Estrogen alone comes with an increased risk of stroke, but a decreased risk of breast cancer and hip fractures. Estrogen plus progestin slightly increases risk of stroke, blood clots, and breast cancer, but still provides some protective effect on hip fractures. Neither group increases total mortality risk, meaning that researchers following patients on hormone therapy and placebos saw no significant difference in the overall number of people who died during the study.
Changes - Disease - Risk
The changes in individual disease risk were all fairly small. They’re significant across...
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