Certain hormone replacement therapies have long been tied to an increased risk of breast cancer. Now, new research suggests that in some cases, that risk can persist for more than a decade.
The research, published in the journal The Lancet on [August 29], found that risks increased steadily the longer the hormone replacement therapy was used, and were greater for estrogen-progestogen hormone therapies than for estrogen-only hormone therapy.
Specifically, the research suggests that the estimated incidence of breast cancer at ages 50 to 69 was tied to an increased risk — from 6.3% of women who never used hormone replacement therapy to 8.3% of those who used the therapy daily for five years.
That’s an increase of about one extra cancer case in every 50 users of the therapy, according to the research.
“These findings should not put women off taking HRT if the benefits — such as protection of bones and decrease in cardiovascular risk — outweigh the risks,” [gynecologist Janice Rymer] said. “To put the risk into context, a woman has greater risk of developing breast cancer if she is overweight or obese compared to taking HRT.”
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