Continuing the theme of breast cancer, a recent population-based case-control study looked at the presence & severity of menopausal symptoms compared to the later development of breast cancer. Interestingly, they noted that those women who suffered from menopause and especially those who reported severe symptoms (presumably due to a dramatic decrease in estrogens) had a lower risk of developing breast cancer, regardless of whether or not they started hormonal therapy (!) and regardless of the timing of hormonal therapy (contrary to the study reviewed yesterday). Granted, this study is good for demonstrating an association and for development of hypotheses, but it is of no use for stating causality.
So why mention this study? Mainly to show that well intended researchers looking over (different) data can come to different conclusions. Also, perhaps our patients can re-interpret their symptoms given the positive outlook further down the road.