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BUDDY CHECK 7: Hormone therapy for women in menopause

Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 5:00 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Women who are approaching menopause may have concerns about hormone replacement therapy if they are at risk for breast cancer. Those risks include family history, having dense breast tissue or pre-cancerous biopsy results.

Dr. Mary Saeger is a physician assistant of general surgery at Marshfield Health System and works with those who are considered high risk. She said if women are concerned, the biggest thing is to be aware of their risk. But the treatment they choose for menopause systems is really an individualized decision.

“I don’t want them to just assume that they cannot take hormone replacement therapy. You know, I think it’s really individualized depending on how severe their symptoms are, what their level of risk is and where their risk is coming from. Is it genetic cause, is it an abnormal biopsy or what? So I don’t want women to just assume, ‘Well I can’t take that ‘cause I had a sister with breast cancer, so I think it’s something that should be brought up with their provider,” explained Dr. Saeger.

She said a lot of time women don’t know they’re at high risk, because so many factors are involved, so advocating for themselves and talking with their doctor is most important

Saeger also said women shouldn’t feel embarrassed about bringing it up and asking what their options are if they’re symptoms are troublesome. There are different types of hormone therapy and even other medications that don’t have anything to do with hormones.

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