I Want My Pink Money Back!

When diagnosed with breast cancer, I figured the bazillion pink dollars me and my friends had raised over the years would provide me with easy access to clear treatment options and emotional support. Boy was I wrong.

First thing I discovered is that once your doctor shares news of your fate (over my cell phone during a high school meet–thoughtful, right?), it can take weeks and weeks to see a doctor or meet with some form of a consoling medical professional.

After several phone calls to an oncologist I’d heard was good, I was told that I was putting “the horse before the cart.”  I needed to have surgery first and then speak to them.  But didn’t I need genetic tests and an MRI? What options were out there?  I’d seen the  long lasting side effects from radiation, heard stories about missed tumors, and knew of the many debilitating side effects from  “hormone therapy,”  which is now pretty much standard of care for most breast cancer survivors with hormone sensitive tumors like me.

It was going to take several weeks to meet a surgeon.  After much complaining I was granted a phone call with my surgeon’s nurse practitioner.  She informed me that I could wait many weeks or months because my tumor was small.  She described my breast mass as a “poopy tumor,”  that would just need “a little radiation and lumpectomy, and then I could get on with my life.”

It appears that women’s breast cancer options are one size fits all.  No one seemed interested in my immune function, mental-emotional state, past illnesses, genetics, or the fact that my aunt died from her “poopy” tumor.  Despite several requests to meet with a caring, informed professional to help me deal and plan, I was never offered an appointment.

We women walk miles and miles, buy pink T shirts, totes, and kitchen appliances, raising a staggering $6 billion annually to improve the treatment of  breast cancer.  The pink money we raised seems to have bought us McMedicine standards of care that rob women of  individualized care and few good options.

We deserve more.  Way more.  Within days of diagnosis all women should be offered emotional support and enpowered with information, if they want it.  We are not all the same.  We should not have the same treatments.  Decisions are not all about mortality indices and cost efficacy.  The medical world is changing at breakneck speed  and there are many new things to consider.

With my my many weeks to wait, I dug for answers and wow am I glad I did.  Had I followed the “standard of care” offered to me, (lumpectomy, radiation, and hormone therapy), I would have missed a second cancer, not been able to reconstruct my breasts at the time of surgery, exposed my organs and immune system to harmful radiation, and worst of all, I would have been placed on a 10 year medical regimen that could adversely affect my longevity, quality of life, relationships, and sense of well being.

I figured out what was best for me and my cancer.  I researched radiation options, like proton and intra-operative, IOR.  I understood there are dozens of important genetic markers beyond BRCA, and a world of immuno-therapies, such as  dendritic vaccine which I did in Mexico with excellent results.

The billions of pink dollars we raise should be looking at more innovative ways to detect and treat breast cancer.  I do not believe that the current standard of care, hormone suppressing therapy is right for all women.   I’m fairly certain that we can be using lower doses of these drugs that would be better tolerated. Research exists showing cannabis inhibits breast cancer cells, while supporting bone growth and treating insomnia, without getting a high feeling. This could be the perfect adjuvant for the millions of women not tolerating hormone suppressing therapy.  If we raise $350,000 I could run a double blind control study for breast cancer survivors right now in Israel using Cannabidiol.  Dendritic vaccine is important and the future, and is available now in Mexico.  Lets offer some trials for women opting to pretreat before surgery.

That surgical nurse was wrong.  My “poopy tumor” was a big deal.  If I had followed my her advice I would not be getting on with my life happily as I now am.

I hope this will be a wake up call to not throw our money into pink research that is poorly regulated, not well accounted for, and the funds that survive the greed largely fund chemotherapy trials.   Lets take our pink money back and develop better options for women.  Its our problem.

Check out http://thinkbeforeyoupink.org/resources/before-you-buy/

I’m back….and we have a lot to catch up on

Happy to say I’m back to blogging and there’s a world of info to catch up on…

I’ve been through breast cancer and my daughter had osteosarcoma (bone cancer) so the last 2 years have been about that, immunotherapy, dendritic cell vaccine, and much more.  I have been absorbed in this and have a lot to share.  Happily we are both well.  More on how we got well later.

First, how did I and my daughter get cancer, at the same time, and what did we do?

When we last connected I was just getting back to work from my journey through Lyme. Life was great off antibiotics but in April 2014, my last blog date, I visited Florida for a little R & R. Who knew that April was sand flea season there? Who knew that sand fleas carry many Lyme co-infections, including bacteria (particularly Bartonella), viruses, and Rickettsia (germs that are somewhere between a virus and a bacteria)- all carried by ticks, fleas and other creepy crawlies. Sand fleas must have entered me through my bikini top as I awoke with 60 (yes sixty!) sand flea bites to both breasts. Breasts only. My daughter had many bites too, not as many as me but at least a dozen.

I don’t want to freak the internet out by suggesting that flea bites will give you cancer but it is a freakish coincidence that several months after this we both developed cancers. I developed 2 cancers on my right breast, she had cancer in her bone.

I do not believe the bites CAUSED our cancers but I see illness in shades of gray and there is usually a “perfect storm” that happens to take someone down and give them a severe illness like Lyme disease and cancer. Many people are bit by ticks and sand fleas and other nasty insects but never get sick, but there is the small percent that do. I believe that’s because they had a combination of factors, say a recent infection, stress, genetic tendency, previous infections or medications that just helped the invading insect (who carry a multitude of bacteria and viruses) take down the immune system and whamm….Lyme, Fibromyalgia, MS, even cancer can happen. Do I think the sand flea bites contributed to my breast cancer? I don’t know, but in light of what has happened to me and my daughter how can I not wonder?

As many of you may be aware, viruses have long been linked to cancer. Viruses have been shown to cause breast and osteosarcoma in animals, and a 2013 publication from the International Agency for Research on Cancer stated that 18-20% of cancers are caused by viruses, so it is not far fetched to reason that the flea bites, coupled with my genetics and immune issues from Lyme, may have been my “perfect storm,” predisposing me to breast cancer.

At the end of the day it does not matter why we got cancer, we did. What I am really excited to share is how we both got better. It was not easy and we both used immunotherapy to get here.

More on that to come.


If you’re not enjoying sex and want to, if you’re not having mind blowing orgasms like you used to, but your healthy in every other way, I have good news for you. Your return to a full, lush, and exciting sex life is at hand. Read on.

The vagina can be mysterious- particularly in us women over 50.

As you age, estrogen and progesterone are no longer coursing through your veins and vaginal walls at high levels. Eventually the vaginal walls thin and bladder pipes become more easily irritated. Vaginitis, bleeding, itching, urinary frequency and infections can occur. Orgasms, if you’re lucky enough to have them, lose intensity.

There are a plethora of lubricants on the market but none will actually improve the health of your vagina, and prevent infections. For that you need the bioidentical hormone, Estriol.

Estriol is a very weak, naturally occurring form of estrogen that any doctor can prescribe, using a compounding pharmacist. All women, including women who have had a history of breast cancer can use vaginal Estriol safely without increasing risks of cancer.

Estriol should be used instead of vaginal Estradiol (i.e. Premarin, E ring, or Estrace), because it won’t stimulate the lining of the uterus and cause bleeding or fibroids, and it won’t increase breast cancer. It has been prescribed safely for decades by physician’s worldwide.

How do you get some? You will find Estriol over the counter as vaginal/facial creams (yes it lessens wrinkle too!). In general, these over the counter preparations can work but the doses are usually too low. The typical dose is a 1 mg Estriol suppository, prepared by a compounding pharmacy.

Ask your doctor and, if your doctor is clueless, (1) find a compounding pharmacy in your area and ask them about it and which doctors in your area are prescribing it, or (2) ask your doctor to call the compounding pharmacy and prescribe it and (3) refer your doctor to my book, The Natural Hormone Makeover, (I have lots of references in it), or (4) give your doctor this article reference to read, (Menopause 2009: 16: 978-83).

Never heard of a compounding pharmacist? They are pharmacists, trained to prepare individualized medications. They can make creams, lotions, suppositories in what ever dose your doctor recommends. Compounding pharmacists are in all states. You can locate one in your area from this website: http://www.pccarx.com/contact-us/find-a-compounder

I recommend starting with 1 mg Estriol suppositories daily for 7 to 10 days. Once the vagina and sex is comfortable again, then maintain your vaginal lining by inserting a suppository ever 2 to 3 days.

If you start using vaginal Estriol and orgasms are not as intense as they used to be explore DHEA. Have your doctor measure a DHEA-S blood level, (any lab can do this). The level should be over 150 ug/dL. I’ve posted about DHEA before- but it is a hormone made by the adrenal glands and converts into testosterone. DHEA is available over the counter, but should be monitored by your doctor.

The great news is that DHEA can safely be used vaginally to enhance orgasm. I usually prescribe 25 to 50 mg in a vaginal suppository and have women use ½ to a full suppository before sex or once per week. Its thicker than estriol so if it feels uncomfortably messy use less, or ask the compounding pharmacist to make smaller doses and use it more often. Vaginal use won’t raise your blood level so prescribe both vaginal and oral DHEA if a woman has a low DHEA-S blood level. DHEA definitely improves sex drive and vitality if your levels are low.

Don’t be scared to enter the world of bioidenticals vaginally. Educate your doctors and your friends and enjoy sex again!








Hair seems to grow upside down as we age, with more on our chin and less on our head! By the time they are 50, at least one-half of all women in the United States, have some problem with hair thinning. Just take a look at the dwindling scalps around the supermarket.

Hair problems break down into two categories: Shedding and Female Pattern Hair Loss.

SHEDDING is when hair loss is happening from the entire scalp. You see hair coming out when you brush, comb or wash your locks. You notice the drain is clogging like never before. Causes of shedding are:

1. Thyroid problems: too much or too little
2. Medications: Many drugs can cause hair loss including commonly used Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Cimetidine, (Tagamet), blood pressure medications and antidepressants.
3. Excess Vitamin A
4. Poor diet, or excessive dieting
5. Chronic sleep loss
6. Chronic Yeast imbalance.
7. Emotional and physical stress: Typically hair loss occurs 2 to 3 months after a major stress such as divorce, death, surgery, or illness.

FEMALE PATTERN BALDNESS is due to an imbalance of sex hormones. There is hair loss from the top of the head, not all around. The hair is usually thinner, causing wimpy ponytails or a wider midline hair part. Many women also develop pimples, acne, or facial hair. The problem here is too much male hormone compared with female hormones. Some women’s bodies make too much testosterone known as DHT, (Dihydrotestosterone). DHT is good and bad- good because it gives us a strong sex drive, bad because too much can thin our hair and give us a moustache.

If you are using testosterone without enough estrogen you can also develop this problem.

Finally, the problem can be inherited. Check out your Mom’s scalp, consider your grandmother’s locks, any similarities? If so, consider hormone testing and bioidentical hormone support.

Have your doctor take some blood tests. Exclude mineral deficiency by measuring iron stores with a CBC, ferritin, and also check magnesium levels with a red blood cell magnesium. More minerals can be measured by specialty labs, but insurance may not cover these. Exclude thyroid problems with a TSH, free T3 and free T4, and a reverse T3. Check your DHT and androstenedione level. Take this article to your doctor.
MY NUMBER ONE HAIR LOSS SUPPLEMENT is Biotin, 15-30 mg/day. Unfortunately you’ll have to wait 2 to 3 months for the hair to grow up the hair shaft to see results. If you have an inherited female pattern loss you may need Zinc 25-50 mg/day and Saw Palmetto 320 mg/day. Be aware that too much zinc can lower your copper- so I recommend working with a knowledgeable integrative health practitioner.

So ladies don’t put up with dwindling scalps- eat well, sleep soundly, and make sure your hormones are balanced.

Isn’t Your Health is Worth More than Your Car?

Do you spend more money on your car than on your health? Many of us do. I know because every now and then, when I want to do a specialty test or prescribe a compounded hormone that is not covered by medical insurance, I get push-back. So then I have talk about money and health with my patient. I call this my “you take better care of your car than yourself,” talk.

As your car ages, you will have to pay for new tires, break pads, routine oil changes, etc and you know darn well that when you hit the 50,000 mile mark you’ll spend even more to keep your engine humming.

Your body is no different. You should just expect that at 50, 65, and beyond you are going to need preventive and reconstructive work to keep yourself well tuned, just like those costly 65,000 mile tuneups.

There’s good and bad news. The good news is that we baby boomers are destined to live into triple digits! Most of us will live beyond our 90th birthdays. The bad news is that its going to cost you if you want to enjoy these “bonus” years. You’re going to need preventive treatments and testing to ensure good health. Individualized therapies like natural Bioidentical hormone support, good quality supplements, neurotransmitter evaluations to measure and support serotonin, dopamine and other brain chemicals, genetic panels to help avoid individual weaknesses, and digestive analyses to make sure your bowels and liver detox are working. Such specialty testing may not be entirely covered by your insurance, but for the best older age, it’s worth it. You must plan and budget for high quality preventive care to ensure graceful and enjoyable aging.

It may be time to invest as well in lifestyle changes. Learn to meditate, join a gym, hire a trainer or life coach, get acupuncture or a massage, eat more organic fruits and vegetables.

To stay healthy after 50 means you may have to start spending more money to care for your body than you routinely spend on your car. Here’s my check-list of goals to be addressed for overall good long term health:

Adequate energy
Solid sleep
Stable moods
Stress management
Weight management
Regular bowel movements
Fulfilling relationships
Regular physical activity
Prevention of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, bone loss, and dementia

In order to address the above list you will need to budget for testing and treatments. The first step is realizing that long-term health is a priority and research how you can best afford to keep yourself as well tuned as your car.

Menopause: Half a Lifetime

Did you know that women are destined to spend one half of their lives in menopause? And guess what? Contrary to common lore, it’s a time that you can begin to feel your best. No longer are you at the mercy of monthly mood changes, weight gain and all the evils that can accompany rising and falling hormones.

Ancient Chinese sages were among the first experts in menopause. They wrote about a woman’s “tides” shifting, so that a woman was no longer giving out into the world, but rather gathering her inner strength. It is a time of introspection and enhanced intuition.

Menopause is a time to take stock of your life physically, emotionally and spiritually. What are you doing with your time and energy? Its time for you to come first and prepare for the second half of your life.

Its a great time to write the bucket list, prepare a vision board, interview a life coach, create a woman’s group, start a journal, and see an educated anti-aging doctor.

I repeat, see an anti-aging doctor. If you are proactive about your physical and emotional health, you will enjoy your second act much more. Tests can be done at most labs to provide you and your doctor with a comprehensive overview of your health risks and preventive needs going forward. I recommend the following tests:

For bone health: Measure your bone density. Your Vitamin D3 (25 OH) levels should be around 60, but not over 80.

For breast health: I recommend having an annual mammogram, and, because many women are deficient in Iodine (which can predispose to breast cancer), please request a random urine or blood iodine test. I give all of my patients a multivitamin with iodine. My favorite is Nutrient 950 (without iron at our age), by Pure Encapsulation.

For gastrointestinal health: Its important to be up to date with your screening Colonoscopy screenings. These should be done every 5 to 10 years depending on your history. Also if you haven’t had one, have a hepatitis B and C screen.

For heart health: Ask your doctor for a thyroid screen, including measurements for free T3, free T4, reverse T3, and TSH. Your TSH should be between 1.0-2.0. Other important tests to get are: Homocysteine, MTHFR (genetic marker), cardio-CRP, diabetic screen with HbA1c, and fasting lipids.

For overall vitality: Ask for these blood tests:
DHEA-S (see my prior blogs), CBC, red blood cell Magnesium, and IGF-1 (indirect measure of growth hormone).

Many of your questions about all of this are answered in my book, The Natural Hormone Makeover.

Take this blog to your doctor and make sure to follow through after the results are in. Take the time to meet with your doctor to review the results and make a plan. It takes a team and a commitment- after all, you would do a 65,000 mile tune-up for your car. You deserve nothing less.

To your health and a great second act!

Adrenal Burnout

I always feel like the end of the summer is a good time to plan the upcoming year. Its a great time to think about gaining balance and health. So are you “burned out?” Are you overdoing? Are you consistently over-scheduled? Are you giving too much without rest and recharge? If you are thinking, “yes” to these questions you need to get a grip on your life and start understanding and appreciating your adrenal glands.

Your adrenal glands sit atop your kidneys and produce several hormones that regulate your body’s energy, metabolism, and immune function. Hormones like DHEA, cortisol, pregnenolone, epinephrine, and norepinephrine make your life run smoothly.

If you are chronically giving out more than you receive you can bet that, over time, your adrenal glands are going to tire, resulting in adrenal burnout. Signs of this are losing your temper easily, feeling irritable when stressed, trouble falling or staying asleep, and generally feeling anxious when things are actually going okay.

When your adrenals burn out you lose control over cortisol production. Its high when it should be low and low when you need it most. Some advertisements will have you believe that most of us have too much cortisol, but this is not the case. Most women over the age of 50 have too little cortisol early in the day, and too much late in the day, causing us to run out of energy mid-day and have trouble sleeping in the night.

Restoring your adrenals right starts with testing. You can take blood or saliva tests to measure adrenal hormone levels. Most women with burnout have low DHEA, low pregnenolone and variable cortisol. Chronic stress with high cortisol levels can confuse the brain overtime. The brain HPA (hypothalamic- pituitary-adrenal) response is lost. Little cortisol is made during the day and too much is made in the evening, when things should be winding down for the night.

As adrenal burnout continues, we become like shift workers- tired in the day but unable to sleep at night. This is not a healthy long-term plan. High night cortisol is linked with increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and depression, not to mention many unhappy moments in an otherwise good life.

What can you do about it? First, recognize it and consider how you got this way. Are you the one constantly volunteering and offering without considering your own needs? Patterns are hard to break, especially for us women raised to believe that we can, and should, do it all. But break patterns of over giving and overdoing, we must.
What can you do? First of all, know that you cannot, nor should you try to “do it all.” Learn to ask for help, know your limits, schedule rest into your day, and build respite/vacations into your life.

Also, discover adrenal adaptogens or herbs that help the body adapt to stress. They have been used for centuries by many cultures. Here are a few examples, taken from the adrenal chapter in my book, The Natural Hormone Makeover:

1. Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus): energizing and good for physical stress
2. Korean ginseng (Panax Ginseng): similar to Siberian in that it helps with physical fatigue but also considered to be a sexual tonic as well
3. Indian ginseng (Ashwaganda or Withania): calming, good for fatigue with insomnia
4. Rhodiola: good for mental stress- but beware, a low dose is energizing but high doses are calming
5. Gingko: improves blood flow to organs- especially helpful for the brain and adrenals to communicate better
6. Astragalus: supports immune function
7. Cordyceps and Rhemania: supports all adrenal hormone production

So be kind to your adrenals this summer. Recharge, refresh and look at your life. Summer is a great time to reassess your lifestyle and think about resetting your automatic responses.

Learn to delegate, set rest goals, plan the year’s vacations, and get your adrenal hormones checked out.

Over 50 Sex Risks: Have Fun But Beware

Here’s the good news: women over 50 are reporting more satisfying sex than ever. Sadly, this news is coupled with the surprising fact that the over-50 age group has become the fastest growing population of HIV/AIDS in our nation, and women are becoming infected more commonly than men. Lets look at what you can do to stay infection free.

The hard facts:

1. In the last decade AIDS in women over 50 have tripled.
2. According to the CDC, 20 percent of the 1.1 million American men and women living with HIV/AIDS do not know they have the disease. Experts believe the percentage is higher among those over 50, due to a lack of education and testing in this population.
3. Vaginal wall thinning and dryness, which could cause small tears, create more opportunity for HIV infection to occur in women.
4. Age reduces the immune response in general which can predispose to infection.
5. Oil-based vaginal lubricants can cause latex condoms to break, increasing risk of transmission of HIV and other STDs.
6. With the advent of drugs for erectile dysfunction, men over the age of 50 are more likely to have multiple sex partners, including prostitutes.
7. Older adults with no suspicions that their partners could be infected fail to get tested for HIV when they have checkups.

How to protect yourself:

1. If you are sexually active, don’t underestimate your risk for HIV/AIDS. Use condoms and be sure to have an open conversation about HIV risk with your partner.
2. You and your partner should have HIV testing.
3. In most cases of infection, testing will become positive within 3 months of exposure.
4. When testing for HIV, test for other common STDs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B and C, herpes 1 & 2 and syphilis.
5. Talk to your pharmacist about which vaginal lubricants or estrogen supplements can be used with specific condoms. There are plenty of water based lubricants. Do not use Vaseline, or other oil-based lotions. Remember that most vaginal treatments for yeast will break latex.
6. Carry your own condoms. The best condoms for prevention are lubricated latex, (lambskin condoms do not block transmission!).
7. Make sure to check condom expiration dates.
8. Use a condom with oral sex too- transmission of HIV (and other STD’s) can occur orally.

Have fun but please be safe!

DHEA: Four Letters You Want to Know

DHEA is the most abundant hormone in your body, yet few women have ever heard of it. Fewer can pronounce its twenty-two lettered scientific name, Dehydroepiandrosterone.

Think of DHEA as your battery, your reserve fuel. Without DHEA you have trouble activating your thyroid hormone. You can take all the Synthroid, (the most commonly prescribed thyroid medication), in the world, but without enough DHEA your body may not feel any beneficial thyroid effects.

DHEA is made by your adrenal glands. Young men and women have a lot but as we levels fall. When you are busy, chronically stressed and not taking time to refuel, DHEA levels fall faster than normal.

Most doctors just accept low levels as “typical aging,” but do you want to age typically?

DHEA helps an “over 50 woman” regulate cortisol, and make serotonin, estrogen, and testosterone. If your DHEA is low you are at risk for immune problems like frequent colds or autoimmune disease. Low DHEA can also result in bone loss, depression, sexual dysfunction, fatigue, dementia and even heart disease.

Could low DHEA be why you can’t lose weight, can’t sleep at night, or stay awake after lunch?

Ask your doctor to measure DHEA-S in your blood. (DHEA-S is the stable form of DHEA) Most labs can do this and most insurance companies will cover testing.

When your doctor tells you “it’s normal,” ask for the number. You want to keep your DHEA-S level above 150, some suggest aiming as high as 200

DHEA is available in most health food stores, but most doses recommended are too high for most women. Most women need only 2 to 10 mg/day (a typical male dose is 25 to 50 mg/day). If your level goes too high you could develop pimples, facial hair or hair thinning. The 7-keto form of DHEA is less likely to cause these side effects, and is readily available over the counter.

Start with a low dose, say 5 mg in the morning, on an empty stomach. Use it for a few weeks. You should notice more energy and a better sense of well-being. If not, increase to 10 or 15 mg.

I recommend taking breaks. Use it for a couple of months, then break for a couple of weeks. DHEA can also be used vaginally. Your doctor can write a script for DHEA vaginal suppositories and any compounding pharmacy can make it for you. Most women notice 25 to 50 mg inserted 2 to 3 times per week enhances orgasm and improve vaginal dryness. Think of it as female Viagra.

Don’t be afraid of DHEA. It is an important adrenal hormone, sadly overlooked as we age.

It’s a little known fact but we wear our hormones on our face!

You can get all of the face work and Botox in the world but hormonal health is how to keep your skin looking as young as possible.

Too little hormones will leave you looking (and feeling), tired. Estrogen, testosterone, thyroid, Growth Hormone, melatonin, and the adrenal hormone DHEA (the most abundant hormone in us), keep our skin bright, supple, moist and less wrinkled.

The small creases that crowned my upper lip convinced me to become an anti-aging medical physician. When I was a mere 43 years old I was plucked from the audience as an example of “premature aging.” To my surprise, the lines on my face told the story of what was happening inside…..my thyroid was underactive, my adrenal glands were too stressed to make enough DHEA, my ovaries were not making much estrogen and testosterone, and growth hormone and melatonin were no longer pulsing in me. I was literally drying up.

Here’s a brief list of what happens to your skin and hair when certain hormones are too low:

Low Estrogen: fine lines form around your mouth, your skin and eyes become dry, your hair thins, crow’s feet form, and forehead wrinkles multiply

Low Testosterone: causes facial wrinkles to increase at a faster rate

Low Thyroid: you’ll notice dry, scaly skin, thinning eyebrows- especially the outer brows, your hair becomes brittle and thin, and your face/eyelids can look puffy

DHEA: the plus side of low DHEA is less leg and underarm hair, but with that your skin and hair is depleted of its natural oils, losing sheen and healthy glow

Melatonin: in addition to poor sleep, low melatonin makes you look generally older than your age

Growth Hormone: lack of growth hormone causes your upper lip to thin and makes the jaw line look smaller. It also causes deeper skin wrinkles.

Hormones have been given bad press but it’s time to set the record straight. Did you know that the WHI study which damned hormones did NOT show any increase in breast cancer in women taking only estrogen? Only the women in the WHI study who used synthetic progesterone (Provera) had an increase in cancer.
Despite the safety of natural hormones, the media hype surrounding this 2001 study caused hormone backlash. Millions of women stopped all forms of hormones causing epidemics of bone loss, insomnia, depression, and sexual dysfunction, not to mention a lot of sad skin and bad hair days.

Ask you doctor to measure these hormones:

DHEA-S, for adrenal DHEA
TSH, free T3 and free T4 Thyroid hormones
IgF-1 for growth hormone

Sex hormones such as Estrogen and Testosterone are safe to use if you use bioidentical forms, in a balanced way, (always use progesterone with estrogen). Never eat estrogen, take it by the skin. Melatonin and DHEA are available over the counter in most pharmacies.

European studies have shown that using bioidentical estrogen by skin lotion, balanced with natural progesterone was safe. Educate yourselves and your doctors about safe uses of hormones so that you can look and feel even better after 50.