20. "Dangers of Estrogen Replacement Therapy"

Ayerst Laboratories and other manufacturers of estrogen have contributed money to the Wilson Research Foundation and the Information Center for the Mature Woman in New York City for the purpose of promoting pro-estrogen publicity. Ayerst's sales of estrogen accounted for $70 million of the $80 million in estrogen sales in 1975. Ayerst Laboratories is the manufacturer of Premarin, the leading brand of estrogen promoted for treatment of postmenopausal symptoms.

Surveys show that half of all women past menopause take estrogens as a matter of course, and half of these women took it for longer than ten years. Recent research shows that there is no evidence that estrogens are effective
in treating nervous symptoms or depression or in keeping patients feeling younger.

Meanwhile, recent evidence has linked estrogen replacement therapy to endometrial cancer and has shown that women on long-term estrogen therapy have a five to eight times greater chance of developing this form of cancer than women not on estrogen.

In addition to this major risk, there are also a number of lesser risks and side effects associated with estrogen therapy. These include breast cancer, gall bladder disease, and abnormal blood clotting, among others.

The failure of the media to publicize the clear dangers of estrogen replacement treatment, especially in light of the extensive pro-estrogen publicity in the past, qualifies this story for consideration as one of the "best censored" stories of 1977.

SOURCES:

The Progressive, September, 1977, p. 24, "Hawking the Estrogen Fix," by Morton Montz and Victor Cohn.

Family Health Magazine, May, 1977, p. 25, "Estrogens: Can They Hold Back the Clock?" by Marion Steinmann.