Dr. John Studd
clinical gynaecologist

print this page

Menopause: When to Stop

There is a view that breast cancer may be increased in women having 10 years or more HRT. Although it must be stressed that there are more high quality publications showing no increased risk than publications showing a slight increase in risk. They do not get the same publicity in the Press. The apparent increase in the incidence of breast cancer may be an artefact but certainly there is now good evidence that the survival is better and that fewer oestrogen takers die of breast cancer than non-users. In spite of this, there remains the view, (which I do not subscribe to), that there should be a limit of 10 years. Perhaps this means that oestrogen therapy should be started at about the age of 60 when there will be maximum protection for osteoporosis, maximum cardiac protection with a lesser risk of breast cancer occurring in younger women. It is a reasonable point of view and at least it does reinforce the clear scientific fact that a 60 year old woman should not be neglected by denying her oestrogens because her older bones or even osteoporotic bones respond to oestrogens, even better than the skeleton of the younger postmenopausal woman.