The Truth About Hormones

A large, federally funded study provides definitive proof that estrogen and progestin are not age-defying wonder drugs. What's a woman to do?

Susan Pierres, a Miami photojournalist who just turned 60, is confused and angry. Ten years ago, when she was approaching menopause, her doctor started her on hormone-replacement therapy, or HRT. "I didn't have any symptoms," she recalls, "but he recommended it for general well-being, bones and heart." Many years and pills later, her gynecologist suggested that perhaps it was time to stop. After all, there had been reports that HRT might increase a woman's risk of breast cancer, a disease that had afflicted Pierres' mother and aunt. She turned to several other physicians for advice. They couldn't seem to agree. Now...

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