Ageless and Outrageous

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Kristin Jackson

10 April 2024

22m 33s

Dispelling Myths about Estrogen and Breast Cancer



Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and breast cancer risk has long been overestimated. For too long, both patients and providers have overestimate the risk of hormone replacement therapy and undervalued its value. Despite the fear surrounding HRT and breast cancer, the actual risks are relatively low. 

  • The Womens' Health Initiative study (WHI), which played a significant role in shaping opinions, has been criticized for its flaws and limitations, resulting in skewed headlines that caused widespread anxiety.
  • Understanding the study's flaws and limitations is crucial to interpreting its results correctly.
  • The study's patient population skewed towards older women, which impacted the results and made them less applicable to menopausal women in their 50s.
  • HRT can offer various benefits, such as reducing heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis risk. 
  • The results of the study are only applicable to conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) and medroxyprogesterone acetate, a synthetic progestin.
  • Using bioidentical hormones, particularly micronized progesterone, can be a safer alternative.
  • The critical window for starting HRT, typically in the perimenopause and early menopause stages, is highlighted as an important factor in determining the benefits and risks of hormone use.

By debunking the fear surrounding hormones and breast cancer, the aim is to empower women to make informed decisions and seek guidance from hormone specialists.

Key moments in this episode are:

0:00 Intro and facts about breast cancer

1:05 Current screening guidelines for breast cancer

1:53 Looking at how the WHI study was set up

3:35 What the headlines about WHI said

3:59 Behind the headlines

5:23 WHI from a personal perspective

7:18 Understanding the numbers

8:37 Risks of oral estrogens

10:30 What was causing the breast cancer risk?

11:08 Benefits of taking HRT

12:10 Alternates to synthetic progestins


Check out Dr Jackson's blog on the WHI here:


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