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Progesterone Therapy News, Issue #001 - finally!
June 10, 2010

Helping you make informed decisions


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June 11th 2010
Issue #001



Hello

Welcome to the first edition of Progesterone Therapy News... a newsletter on progesterone therapy and balanced health sent only to subscribers.

Well, if you were one of the early subscribers you'll be as surprised as I am pleased that we have finally got the ball rolling with this first issue. Thanks for your patience!

This will not be one of those newsletters sent out on a regular weekly or monthly cycle but rather will focus on bringing you important updates as and when they come along on heath matters especially as they relate to progesterone therapy. Future issues will be shorter than this one so please don't be put off by its length!

The format will normally be a news item or two together with links to informative articles on other websites and online information resources.

You may receive this email more than once. This will be because you have at some stage either corresponded with me directly or completed our questionnaire (see the right margin of this web page).



Amazingly I wrote what follows way back in 2003 for the first planned newsletter! I won't bore you with the reasons for its delay but simply draw your attention to the timelessness of the message...

As HRT is still very much in the news, I thought I would make it the topic of our first newsletter.

Synthetic oestrogen has been prescribed to women since the 50ís to alleviate some of the symptoms of menopause. By the mid sixties it was being touted as the saviour of the menopausal woman, keeping her ĎFeminine Foreverí, which is the title of a book by Dr Robert Wilson.

Wyeth Ayerst produced the first conjugated oestrogen called Premarin, standing for 'Pregnant Mares Urine'. It is, as the name suggests, made from pregnant mares urine. The pregnant horses, some say as many as 80,000, are kept tethered in stalls for six months of the year, fed little water to concentrate the urine, which is collected in bags held under the horses tails. The urine is then processed to yield various hormones, only 40% being human hormones, the potent remainder being horses hormones! Itís no wonder most women do not do well on it. About 15% of US women use it (that was 2003, the figure now is thankfully much lower) and those who do only stay on for an average of one year.

Initially only oestrogen was given, but then an alarming increase in endometrial cancer in the 1970ís was observed. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, (NEJM) in 1976 noted the increase was greater than 10% in some areas. But for women in middle age the increase varied between 40 to 150%.

As early as 1976 an increase in breast cancer was found, yet it is still recommended for menopause symptoms! An article cited in Medline followed 1891 women for 12 years. Expecting to find 39.1 women to have developed cancer over that time, they found instead 49 had, giving a relative risk of 1.3%. This increased to 2.0% after 15 years. As any woman who has had cancer will confirm the benefits are not worth the risks.

So HRT or hormone replacement therapy was born. Synthetic progesterone, commonly known as 'progestin', was added to the oestrogen to lessen the risk of endometrial cancer. In the excitement of finding a solution to the rise in endometrial cancer, the rise in breast cancer was conveniently overlooked.

In our next newsletter I will take a look at HRT.

To your good health,

Wray Whyte

Sources:
The New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 294:1259-1262, June 3, 1976
Increasing incidence of endometrial cancer in the United States NS Weiss, DR Szekely, and DF Austin
MEDLINE, Volume 293:1164-1167, December 4, 1975, Number 23 DC Smith, R Prentice, DJ Thompson, and WL Herrmann
MEDLINE, Volume 295:401-405, August 19, 1976, Number 8
Menopausal estrogens and breast cancer
R Hoover, LA Gray, P Cole, and B MacMahon

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