Several new studies have researchers more confident that hormone replacement therapy is a beneficial treatment for symptoms of menopause. Estrogen was once widely prescribed to menopausal women, but the treatment fell out of favor after a 2002 federal study suggested it may increase the risk of breast cancer and stroke. Now new research has prompted the North American Menopause Society to recommend that if women start hormone therapy around the time their periods end it may minimize the risks presented in the 2002 study and increase the benefits. Their position is supported by a new study published in the British Medical Journal, which found that women given hormone replacement therapy experienced fewer menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, aching joints and muscles, insomnia and vaginal dryness. [Newsweek]