Want to increase your chances of getting node-positive breast cancer and dying from it? Take hormone therapy.
Pharma's lucrative estrogen plus progestin combo is already known to increase the chance of getting breast cancer by 26 percent. But an article in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows hormone therapy also increases the chance of dying from breast cancer, as follow-ups are conducted on women who took it.
In fact hormone therapy, already indicted for causing delays in breast cancer diagnosis by increasing breast density (and increasing lung cancer deaths) is now so dangerous Dr. Peter B. Bach from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, who wrote an accompanying JAMA editorial, told the New York Times the very advice of "taking the lowest possible doses for the shortest possible time" is now questionable. Perhaps like prescribing the fewest and lowest tar cigarettes as possible.
It is hard to image men putting up with a therapy for "outliving their testes" that kills and maims them decade after decade. Women given Premarin for their "estrogn deficiency" in the 1980s developed so much endometrial cancer, the cancer rate dropped when they quit taking the drug. Five years ago, the same thing happened with breast cancer when women quit Prempro. Who can say "iatrodemic" physician-caused epidemic? Who can say fool me twice?
Both Prempro and Premarin are made by Wyeth, now part of Pfizer.
And just as hormone therapy is repackaged for a new generation of women, so are pharma friendly press stories that push it, as Parade's fabled piece with the model Lauren Hutton who extols hormone therapy did some years ago.
In April, the New York Times magazine ran a pro-hormone piece called The Estrogen Dilemma by Cynthia Gorney, relying on five Wyeth-linked researchers whose conflicts of interests were not disclosed. Three, Claudio Soares, Louann Brizendine and Thomas Clarkson have served on Wyeth's speaker boards. Oops.