I am a 17+ year suvivor of ovarian cancer. I refuse to take premarin, but need something. I am most interested in exploring bioidentical hormones, however I have been unable to find a physician who incorporates this into their practice. I am in New Orleans, but am willing to travel to find the right physician for me. Can you please advise? Thank you.
Congratulations on your 17 year survival. That is terrific! You might be worried about taking estrogen because you fear any increased risk of cancer. Although many women share that fear, there is not a link between estrogen and ovarian cancer so in theory it would be a reasonable consideration to take estrogen. A discussion of bioidentical estrogens is a very long discussion, more than we can do here. But most doctors will prescribe medications such as estrogen patches (Climara, Vivelle, and others) or estradiol tablets such as Estrace. These are regular pharmacy prescriptions and they contain only estradiol which is a bioidentical hormone. Remember, bioidentical only means the chemical formula of the hormone is identical to ones women normally make. They are not necessarily from a natural source. If your uterus was removed, you will not need progesterone. If your uterus is still in place, you will need progesterone. The prescription Prometrium is a bioidentical hormone most doctors will prescribe. Try talking with your doctor about these choices. You can also contact the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and/or the North American Menopause Society web sites. Both should list doctors in New Orleans or in that area who could help you.
Machelle M. Seibel, MD
I found some information at caringforwomyn.com that you might find helpful. I've used the over-the-counter USP Progesterone cream and Estroven for a few months with good results. however, I am in the process of checking out the bio-identicals available by prescription. I attended a seminar recently and have heard that estrogen taken by topical cream has had a much lower cancer incidence than that of estrogen taken by pill. There is a pharmacy in our area - Spokane - where the pharmacist consults with patients and their doctors to come up with a formula for the individual, based on hormone lab tests. Also, that caringforwomyn site I mentioned is run by a doctor in California who consults over the phone if you can't travel to his area. Might be worth checking out. However, a city the size of New Orleans must have a clinic or compounding pharmacy someplace. I would key in on the internet search engine "google" the words "New Orleans physicians bio-identicals". If that yields nothing, try "New Orleans bio-identical compounding pharmacies" things like that. Just keep playing around with the key words and you might find something that way.
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