According to the October 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the prolonged use of hormone replacement therapy raises the risk of breast cancer making it more likely for the occurrence of more severe forms of the disease and increasing the risks of dying.
The findings apply to estrogen-plus-progestin or combined hormone therapy.
For more than 40 years, Premarin, Prempro and Prevara have been the drugs of choice for the treatment of menopause symptoms, and tens of millions of prescriptions have been filled. Women were regularly encouraged to take the drugs to stop hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings,and to protect them from brittle bones and heart attacks.
Premarin, Prempro and Prevara (pregnant mare urine) come from estrogen extracted from the urine of pregnant mares. Horse farms, known popularly as “Pee Farms” exist mostly in Canada and North Dakota where thousands of pregnant mares are chained in ‘standing’ stalls and prevented from moving more than one step forward, one step backward or lying down to rest.The horses are strapped to urine collection devices 24/7 for most of their pregnancies. The devices can cause chafing, itching and lesions. Water is restricted for more concentrated urine.
When the mares are about to foal, they are released out into the pastures and tens of thousands of foals (byproducts of the PMU industry) are sent to slaughter. Fillies who can replace the older mares on the “pee lines” are impregnated. Some lucky horses are saved by rescues in Canada and the United States.
In order to bring some regulation to the cruelty of many PMU farms, the North American Equine Ranching Information Council (NAERIC) was organized and issued guidelines for the humane treatment of the horses, however the program is voluntary, and there is no official regulation for the farms. After the urine is collected, it is shipped to processing plants at Ayerst Organics in Brandon, Manitoba, a division of Wyeth Ayerst. In 2009 Wyeth Ayerst was purchased by Pfizer, the world’s largest pharmaceutical firm.
As to the study released today, Dr. Rowan Chlebowski, author of the study stated, “It looks like all categories of breast cancer are increased. The preponderance of observational studies had suggested that the cancer would have a more favorable outcome, but now we’re seeing all categories of cancer increasing and, for the first time, we’re reporting mortality.”
Eleven years ago the Women’s Health Initiative abruptly ended when it reported an increased incidence of breast cancer in women taking combined estrogen-plus-progestin. The study involved 16,608 post menopausal women aged 50 to 79. All the women still had a uterus, and some were given hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and others were given placebos. When this study came out, half the women taking HRTs quickly quit, and soon after, researchers attributed the decrease in the cancer rate to the drop in hormone use. Still millions of prescriptions are still being written.
Research shows small but significant increases in women using HRT. More women who took hormones died from breast cancer – 2.6 deaths per 10,000 women per year among those taking hormones; twice as many as the 1.3 deaths per 10,000 in the placebo group. Women who had breast cancer and took HRT had a higher death rate from other causes – 5.3 deaths with HRT;1.9 extra deaths with HRT users.
Another author of the study, Dr. JoAnn Manson said that women should not take hormones at all unless they really need them. Women who took the hormones for the longest periods of time had the highest risk.
Dr, Peter Bach, a physician at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, thinks although the increase in cancer in the study might be small, it becomes much larger when multiplied out over the population, and like other doctors can not determine if there is any safe dosage. He adds, “If you care about preventing this disease and keeping women from suffering and dying from it, then it’s hard to look at these drugs and not have serious concerns about them being used, even for what are intended to be relatively short periods of times.”
Let’s face it; horse urine is not intended for human consumption.