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Challenging the myths around dieting and weight from our Health for Women website

A few simple lifestyle changes can prevent kilo creep, without dieting. Learn more...

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Home Resources Hot Topics 2010 Topics

2010 Topics

The Jean Hailes Foundation for Women's Health comments on published research work from Australia and around the world to assist women to make informed decisions in managing their health.

Please note: Information in Hot Topics is updated or removed as appropriate as new studies are released. Also, where appropriate, the information from Hot Topics is available in our websites.

Menopause at the movies

Menopause can seem like a scary time for some women.

When we see menopause portrayed in the media or popular culture, such as in the recent movie Sex and the City 2, it's often in a negative light with women depicted as slaves to their hormones.

It's important to remember that menopause is an individual experience and not all women will experience menopause symptoms. At the same time a woman goes through menopause there may be other things going on in her life, such as changing family relationships and / or work roles as well as new experiences taking place.

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Dr Mandy Deeks on Sunrise

Dr Mandy DeeksJean Hailes psychologist Dr Mandy Deeks was interviewed on popular breakfast show Sunrise on Monday 4 October to discuss ‘Myths about menopause’.

Mandy talks about the changes women face as they approach midlife and how many of these changes are more to do with lifestyle, personality and relationships than menopause.

To watch the interview, go to  

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Dr Sonia Davison on 3AW

Dr Sonia DavisonDr Sonia Davison helped dispel the myths surrounding osteoporosis on Talking Health with Dr Sally Cockburn on 3AW on Sunday night October 24, 2011 .

You can listen by logging on to the iTunes Talking Health page and going to the 25 10 10 release at


Content updated 21 October 2010

New study on hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer

A new report based on data from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI ) study has found that combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT), containing oestrogen and progestin, is associated with a very small increased risk of mortality from breast cancer in postmenopausal women. In women who were taking a placebo (dummy pill), the risk of death from breast cancer was 1.3 in every 10,000 women per year. In women who were taking combined HRT, the risk of death from breast cancer was 2.6 in every 10,000 women per year. Thus, the increase in risk is actually very small.

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Oestrogen-only HRT and breast cancer

A report presented at the recent San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium suggested that oestrogen-only hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may reduce the risk of breast cancer in some women. This report has not yet been peer-reviewed so the findings are considered to be preliminary.

The findings were based on existing data from the oestrogen-only arm of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study, first published in 2004. This part of the study involved postmenopausal women who had already had a hysterectomy taking oestrogen without progesterone. (This is only possible in women without a uterus because oestrogen by itself can cause an increased risk of endometrial cancer.) International experts have been quick to respond to this new interpretation of the data, with the International Menopause Society (IMS) releasing a statement on their website:

"The recent re-analysis of the WHI data is reassuring to both women and physicians that women at low risk for breast cancer do not increase the incidence of breast cancer while using conjugated oestrogen-only therapy." However the statement does make very clear that any decision to use HRT should be made on a case-by-case basis. "The position of the International Menopause Society is that counselling and the decision regarding the use of any hormone therapy be based on an individual risk-benefit assessment of the woman by her physician."

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