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Dr keeps putting off HRT discussion Dr keeps putting off HRT discussion

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  #11  
Unread 02-20-2005, 12:55 PM
Dr keeps putting off HRT discussion

Hi, Abby. I, too, went home from the hospital without any type of hormone therapy.

There are benefits to HRT/ERT besides relief of menopausal symptoms. However, there are also negatives, as an increased risk for breast cancer, especially if it runs in your family. And of course if you've had breast cancer, you shouldn't take estrogen at all.

My doctor also took the "wait and see" attitude. She knew that with my family history of breast cancer (on both sides, plus my mother died from breast cancer) I was reluctant to take ERT.

I didn't start having hot flashes until about 5-6 weeks after my TAH/BSO, but they were mild. I also started feeling more and more depressed and weepy. My doctor left it up to me to start on ERT or to try other alternatives, such as anti-depressants (which can help with the hot flashes as well as the depression). I decided to wait a bit longer to see how I would do.

My hot flashes have started to get a little stronger, and although the depression is still there it's a bit milder, so I started on Black Cohash instead of anti-depressants, which seems to be helping the hot flashes. My doctor said, tho, that it only works on about 40% of the women who try to use it, so it isn't an alternative for everyone.

As for protecting my bones, I'm taking calcium+D, and next year I'm to get a bone density test to see how that's working. If I have some bone loss, there are other options besides estrogen to consider then. I'm also taking a multi-vitamin plus extra C and E, and I'm exercising (walking and eventually I'll get back into weight training) for the bones and heart and skin and hair and memory.

All in all, this hasn't been as bad as I thought it might be. I was really worried because I hadn't had any menopausal symptoms prior to surgery, and I'd heard all the horror stories!

My personal advice is--Don't rush into HRT or ERT until you know for sure that's what you need and want, as there are other options out there.

Good luck!
Pam
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