Estrogen Matters: Why Taking Hormones in Menopause Can Improve Women's Well-Being and Lengthen Their Lives -- Without Raising the Risk of Breast Cancer

Estrogen Matters: Why Taking Hormones in Menopause Can Improve Women's Well-Being and Lengthen Their Lives -- Without Raising the Risk of Breast Cancer

by Avrum Bluming, Carol Tavris


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A compelling defense of hormone replacement therapy, exposing the faulty science behind its fall from prominence and empowering women to make informed decisions about their health.

For years, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was hailed as a miracle. Study after study showed that HRT, if initiated at the onset of menopause, could ease symptoms ranging from hot flashes to memory loss; reduce the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, and some cancers; and even extend a woman's overall life expectancy. But when a large study by the Women's Health Initiative announced results showing an uptick in breast cancer among women taking HRT, the winds shifted abruptly, and HRT, officially deemed a carcinogen, was abandoned.

Now, sixteen years after HRT was left for dead, Dr. Bluming, a medical oncologist, and Dr. Tavris, a social psychologist, track its strange history and present a compelling case for its resurrection. They investigate what led the public — and much of the medical establishment — to accept the Women's Health Initiative's often exaggerated claims, while also providing a fuller picture of the science that supports HRT.

A sobering and revelatory read, Estrogen Matters sets the record straight on this beneficial treatment and provides an empowering path to wellness for women everywhere.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316481205
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 09/04/2018
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 92,920
Product dimensions: 5.75(w) x 8.62(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Avrum Bluming, MD, is a hematologist and medical oncologist, and a Master of the American College of Physicians, an award bestowed on fewer than 500 of the 100,000 board-certified internists in the United States. He is Emeritus Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Southern California and a former senior investigator for the National Cancer Institute.

Carol Tavris, PhD, is a social psychologist who has written widely about psychological science. Her trade books include Anger; The Mismeasure of Woman; and, with Elliot Aronson, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me). She has won numerous awards for her science writing and contributions to skepticism and gender equity.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Who Killed HRT? 3

1 Does Estrogen Cause Breast Cancer? 17

2 The "Change of Life" and the Quality of Life 55

3 Matters of the Heart 83

4 Breaking Bad 105

5 Losing and Using Our Minds 127

6 Can Breast Cancer Survivors Take Estrogen? 163

7 Progesterone and the Pill 195

8 Debates, Decisions, and Final Lessons in the Case for HRT 211

Afterword 241

Acknowledgments 243

Notes 247

Index 303

What People are Saying About This

MD, Distinguished Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine; Editor-in-Chief, New England Journal of Medicine - Jerome P. Kassirer

“Given breast cancer’s substantial morbidity, mortality, emotional toll and the vast consequences of its treatment, the frontal salvo on the conventional wisdom of estrogen use by Avrum Bluming and Carol Tavris is refreshing and welcome. The book will stir a lively debate about the merits of decades of existing clinical research on estrogens and help reframe the way clinicians and patients view the tradeoff between the benefits and risks of hormone therapy.”

Author of Influence and Pre-Suasion - Robert B. Cialdini

“How could one flawed scientific conclusion become a persuasive juggernaut that changed the practice of women’s health worldwide? In their fascinating account, Bluming and Tavris challenge that conclusion and unpack the reasons for its remarkable impact.”

Author of The Universe and the Teacup - KC Cole

“This strange and all too human story of HRTs is one every woman should know and share with her doctors. Brought to us by oncologist Avrum Bluming—a caring physician with the curiosity and courage to defy the medical establishment—and Carol Tavris—a master at clearing the fog of obfuscation that muddies medical studies—it’s a book about a lot more than hormones. It’s also a primer in the perils of statistics, unconscious bias, and applying incomplete findings to huge populations. In short, it helps us understand why medical studies often contradict each other, and the fear and wishful thinking that can lurk behind the most deeply held beliefs.”

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