While there are many factors to consider before taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT), understanding your genetic profile can prove invaluable in your decision-making process. Joanne Weidhaas, MD, PhD, and her colleagues published research in 2015 that pointed to estrogen withdrawal—which occurs during menopause, abrupt stoppage of HRT, or a pre-menopausal oophorectomy without HRT—as a potential trigger for the onset of cancer in women who carry an inherited genetic mutation known as the KRAS-variant.
For women who do test positive for the KRAS-variant, maintaining one’s estrogen levels via hormone replacement therapy through peri-menopause and into menopause appears to be protective in decreasing cancer risk.
While any decision around prescription HRT should involve a consultation and discussion with your physician, if you are a woman experiencing menopausal symptoms and are trying to decide whether to go on or stay on HRT, you may want to consider getting tested for the KRAS-variant. Regardless of whether you test positive or negative, the result will provide you with a powerful piece of genetic information to help inform this important decision about your health.