Only white, affluent women over 50 are showing a decline in breast cancer rates across the country, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health. Harvard researchers analyzed data evidencing a decline in breast cancer rates across the country and discovered this startling fact. No such decrease in the number of diagnosed breast cancers was evident among African American, Hispanic or Asian/Pacific Islander women. The researchers attributed the decrease in this racial, socioeconomic slice of women to a decline in these same women’s use of synthetic hormones often prescribed for menopausal symptoms. Breast cancer rates declined by as much as 10% annually in this group.
“This new research is seminal in that it throws light on a previously obscured variable.” says Dr. C. W. Randolph, Jr., “This demographic of women - white, educated and informed -is not only the segment of the female population most likely to stop using synthetic hormones, it is also the segment of women most actively embracing bioidentical hormone replacement therapies (BHRT) as a safe and effective alternative.”
After the published results of the 2002 Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study unequivocally linked the use of synthetic hormone replacement drugs to an increased risk of breast cancers, heart attack, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, millions of women decided to stop filling their prescriptions. Sales of the 2.2 billion dollar pipeline of synthetic hormones products, such as the popularly-prescribed Premarin and Prempro, soon plummeted by 50%. But according to Randolph, “The declining use of synthetic hormones is just one variable in this equation of decreased risk and the increasing popular choice of bioidentical hormone replacement therapies (BHRT) is the other.”
Dr. Randolph, a nationally-recognized medical pioneer in treating hormone health issues for both women and men, reports an astonishing clinical finding. “For close to fifteen years, I have used BHRT to successfully treat tens of thousands of women suffering from menopausal symptoms and other issues associated with hormone imbalance.” Randolph said, “In all those years, we know of only two women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. When the national average of women diagnosed with breast cancer is still 1 out of 8, I contend that the trend I am witnessing in my practice reflects the growing body of evidence that bioidentical progesterone is breast tissue protective.”
Randolph acknowledges the use of bioidentical hormones has sparked an intense debate and some enmity within the medical community.
A lot of women and even their physicians are still uncertain about the difference between synthetic and bioidentical hormones, Dr. Randolph said. He explains the human body produces three sex hormones: estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Each of these hormones has a unique molecular structure the human body recognizes, receives and utilizes at a cellular level. Synthetic hormones, such as the ones in Premarin and Prempro, are manufactured to have a slightly different molecular structure than the hormones produced within the human body. “Why? So they can be patented, says Randolph, “Unfortunately, as the WHI study showed, the slight changes in molecular structure trigger dangerous and even deadly side effects when introduced into the human system.”
“Bioidentical hormones, on the other hand, are synthesized in a laboratory to have exactly the same molecular structure as the hormones produced within the human body. When introduced into the human system in physiologic doses, bioidentical hormones are effectively recognized and received. Menopausal symptoms are safely alleviated and, at a cellular level, optimal healthy hormone balance is restored and breast tissue is protected.”
Randolph said, “Today’s upper-income, educated female healthcare consumer is not the woman of her mother’s era. They do not look at a medical professional in a white coat and take their word as gospel. When these women start teetering into their menopausal years, they are determined to do their homework and understand their choices. Increasingly, after reviewing the growing body of medical evidence, these women are choosing bioidentical hormones and, if need be, they are willing to pay out-of-pocket.”
“Informed, well-heeled white women may be driving a shift in the way the traditional medical community is treating hormone health issues but our real good news will be when all races and all socioeconomic communities of women, whether white, black, Hispanic or Asian, are made aware that they, too, have the same choice for long-term hormone balance and breast health.”
C.W. Randolph, Jr., M.D., R.Ph.is also the co-founder of the Natural Hormone Institute and co-author of the bestselling book, From Hormone Hell to Hormone Well, with Genie James, M.M.Sc.