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Anonymous
Subject:breast cancer, hrt, soy

I am a 57 year old woman who has a strong family history of breast cancer - all post menapausal (mother, 2 maternal aunts, 1 paternal aunt).  I have resisted HRT though have experienced night sweats, hot flashes, insommia (you get the picture) for years.  My PCP  discouraged use of HRT, my OB/GYN is in favor of it.  What is the latest on this dilemna?  Also, I find soy to provide some relief but I have heart it also can be a problem as it affects estrogen production.  Each year after my mamogram screening, I get called back for a diagnostic which turns out to be fine but is just no fun.  What breast cancer detection method would be best for me and how would I get my insurance to support it?  Thank you very much


Posted: 12 Feb 2010 03:15 PM
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skshort

skshort

Total Messages 36

Subject:breast cancer, hrt, soy

"The issues that you raised are very common, so you are not the only one that goes through that. I would not be able to solve some of your questions as they are very specific to each individual, and only the personal physician can help solve them with direct communication with each person according to their individual characteristics. What I can say is that there are many additional options that you can do on your own to  to help address night sweats, hot flushes and insomnia. We find that acupuncture works very well with some patients to improve their quality of life, reduce hot flushes- the  number and intensity, and improve the quality of their sleep. We  find that patients that do some form of relaxation, meditation, mindfulness stress reduction, breathing exercises can be helpful as well. A few years ago in a study that was done in the UK, women that had exposure to only 4 weekly educational sessions on relaxation, and they actually implemented it afterwards for only 20 minutes a day, were able to reduce their hot flushes by 90% in a matter of 3 months. In our Place .of wellness we have many classes that teach different types of relaxation exercises, you can open the following link to get a taste of some them. http://www.mdanderson.org/education-and-research/departments-programs-and-labs/programs-centers-institutes/place-of-wellness/programs/index.html

Exercise is another method that actually can help all the symptoms that you mention, I usually suggest regular daily walking of 30 minutes preferably in the early morning when you actually enjoy the fresh air and the sun. Keeping a good nutrition is another important element and I would suggest with the help of a nutritionist develop your own personal program of improving your nutrition. In general the following link will lead you to the general recommendations that we give to people touched by cancer, but actually are good for anyone interested in prevention. http://www2.mdanderson.org/app/pe/index.cfm?pageName=opendoc&docid=2637

I hope that can be a good start."

 

Moshe Frenkel, M.D.


Posted: 12 Feb 2010 03:22 PM
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