These days it seems like everybody is an expert. Have a question about a medical situation? Ask Facebook. Concerned about your health and what is going on with it? Head to Reddit or Instagram for the answer. While it’s easy to look online for answer to medical questions that doesn’t mean the answers you’ll find are always correct. Misconceptions abound online and far too often people take the word of the internet over the word of their doctors. Take, for example, hormone replacement therapy. If you are on any sort of social media you’ve likely seen a number of posts and memes that talk about how bad hormone replacement therapy is. What are those memes true? Let’s talk about hormone replacement therapy for women and hormone replacement therapy for men and get to the truth behind some of the myths.
If you use hormone replacement therapy, you’ll get cancer.
One of the more scary rumors you’ll hear about hormone replacement is that using it will cause cancer. This, however, is completely untrue. Hormone treatment does not influence the growth of cancerous cells in your body. One of the main reasons that people connect a cancer diagnosis with hormone replacement therapy is because quite often small tumors are discovered during the medical examination that is required for the hormone replacement therapy treatment. In reality it’s a good thing when cancer is found early. In general, the earlier you find it the faster you can treat it.
Oral and vaginal estrogen carry the same risks
Many people believe that both oral and vaginal estrogen carry the same risks. This is untrue. The FDA requires that all products that have a similar ingredient have a warning on them. This means, for example, that any warnings and risks that may be associated with oral estrogen will also have to be listed on vaginal estrogen products including rings, creams, and tablets. The truth is, however, that there has never been proof that any of the complications that can occur from oral estrogens will occur from using a local vaginal estrogen product. In fact, many scientists and doctors are currently working to get those mornings off of the vaginal estrogen levels.
Estrogen therapy is the #1 cause of breast cancer
Once again we are dealing with cancer rumors when it comes to both hormone replacement therapy for men and hormone replacement therapy for women. Would it surprise you to know that over 80% of women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer have never actually undertaken any sort of hormone replacement treatment? In all reality, the risk of developing some type of breast cancer while you were undergoing hormone therapy is actually lower than the risk of developing breast cancer when you use alcohol daily.
Once you’ve hit menopause you don’t need hormone replacement therapy
This myth is definitely one that needs to disappear. Women who have reached menopause but who have been on hormone therapy either during menopause or before it should continue their hormone therapy treatment. It is up to your physician to decide when it is time to lower the hormone dosage slowly and gradually.
Hormone replacement therapy is only for women
Once again we forget that men have hormones just as women do. While men have different hormones than women, this doesn’t mean that they may not require replacement therapy. Having your hormones unbalanced can cause a great deal of havoc in your body which is why you will find that there are often men who undergo replacement therapy to help even the hormones in their body out. Not only can men benefit from feeling better during this type of therapy, some even report that other issues they’ve been dealing with, such as hair loss or breast tissue mass accumulating, are made better, or completely resolve, with treatment.