FDA-approved, doctor-administered hormone therapies are still the most effective methods of relieving menopause symptoms, and as Dr. Nanette Santoro explains, these treatments may take some special consideration and individualization.
Dr. Santoro recently spoke about the importance of women having a candid conversation about hormone therapy (HT) for menopause with a medical care provider, before writing them off entirely. For Dr. Santoro, hormone treatment is a vital example of the importance of precision medicine: the process of tailoring treatments to each patient’s genes, environment and lifestyle.
When assessing the benefits and risks of HT for individual patients, the best evidence comes from the Women’s Health Initiative, according to Santoro. The study has been criticized by some for raising exaggerated concerns about the benefits and risks of FDA-approved, doctor-administered hormone therapies (and pushing patients to “natural” ineffective methods).
While concerns about the potential risks of medical treatments are always valid, Dr. Santoro notes that hormone treatment options should be carefully weighed by individual patients and their providers. “Because hormone therapy has the potential to address multiple symptoms at the same time at low risk when given for short intervals of time, it really remains our treatment of choice,” Santoro said. “Only our patients, in really what is the finest example of precision medicine, can tell us if it is worth it.”