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A 49-year-old female asked:

Per my blood work, my estrogen level is 7. i got a prscriptn for divigel but my mom had breast cancer 3 yrs ago. pls advs. currently in great health for 51. black female, straight, otr, cdl driver. hysterectomy 4 yrs ago for fibroids. i get a physica

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mary Engrav
Dr. Mary Engravanswered
Emergency Medicine 33 years experience
I : I share your concerns. I do not know what symptoms you are having that you were prescribed Divigel for, but i assume that you are having menopausal symptoms that you are suffering from. My concern with you would be your family history of breast cancer. In addition, there is increased cardiovascular risks in women over 50 and in women who are overweight. I am very concerned that you could have consequences from taking this medication, so please discuss your risk factors with your doctor. My concern with herbal medications is that they carry the same risk with their estrogen-like substances as regular estrogen, so the herbal medication or bio-identicals have not been proven safe in large peer-reviewed studies either. There are other non-hormonal medications that can help menopausal symptoms, such as neurontin, (gabapentin) but there are several others that you can read about or ask your doctor about as well.
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Dr. Elizabeth Lyster
Obstetrics and Gynecology 33 years experience
Hi : Hi lori - based on my review of many studies on hormone-replacement therapy, I do not think you are at increased risk of breast cancer from using the divigel. That product is transdermal estradiol, and if it is relieving menopausal symptoms then you are getting that benefit, without the cardiovascular risk shown to be increased with oral estrogen products. Also, your bone density benefits from estrogen therapy. There are also many large studies in peer-reviewed medical journals that show greater safety of bioidentical forms of estrogen and progesterone. There are quite a few alternatives to divigel, but a full discussion is outside the scope of this forum. There are many doctors with specialty training in bioidentical hormone therapy. One resource is the web site of the medical group i work for, where you will find many of the studies I am referring to in this reply: www.Holtorfmed.Com. Due to all of your family history, including that of your grandmother who died of ovarian cancer, you have other factors that need addressing for a full evaluation and treatment program tailored to your individual needs.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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