Boy… talk about unscrupulous…

There was an article on CNN today about hormone replacement therapy.  Apparently Wyeth, a pharmaceutical giant, paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to deliberately misled people on the benefits on hormonal therapy.

These articles were published in medical journals, and overly stated the benefits of replacement hormones, while underplaying the risks.  CNN said,

The analysis of those articles found that they “implied that estrogen could preserve youth and health.” Further, the study says, physicians were prescribing estrogen to millions of women who had no symptoms.

“In 1975, an eight-fold increase in endometrial cancer was linked to estrogen use and estrogen sales decreased,” Fugh-Berman wrote. “Today, despite definitive scientific data to the contrary, many gynecologists still believe that the benefits of HT outweigh the risks in asymptomatic women. This non-evidence based perception may be the result of decades of carefully orchestrated corporate influence on medical literature.”

The articles were crafted to downplay the perceived risks of hormone therapy and to promote unproved uses for hormone therapy, such as preventing dementia, Parkinson’s disease, vision problems and wrinkles, according to Fugh-Berman’s analysis.

However, the Women’s Health Initiative found that HRT is linked to an increase in breast cancer, ovarian cancer, strokes, and other problems.

The main hormone prescribed was estrogen.  Now, this seems to show that artificially boosting estrogen levels is dangerous. However, this is what most birth control pills will do.

So what should you do if your doctor prescribes birth control to clear up your cysts?

First, try natural methods to get rid of them.  If you absolutely must take birth control, consider doing progesterone only.  This is a little less effective, but it is much safer.

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