Breast cancer rates lower with less hormone therapy
Reduced use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is linked to declines in rates of invasive breast cancer and ductal carcinoma in situ, the most common form of non-invasive breast cancer.
Researchers studied 587,369 women, aged 40 to 79 years, in America who underwent more than 2 million screening mammography examinations between January 1997 and December 2008.
It was found that women aged 50 to 69 years had the highest level of hormone therapy use and also had the largest reduction in invasive breast cancer when they stopped hormone therapy - from 40 cancers per 10,000 mammograms in 2002 to 31 cancers in 2005, and 35 cancers in 2006. The study also found a sharp drop in rates of ductal carcinoma in situ in this age group after they stopped using hormone therapy.
A parallel decrease in these types of breast cancer also occurred among women older than 70 years. However, there was no change in breast cancer rates during the study period among women aged 40 to 49 years, who were less likely to have been on hormone therapy.
The above findings suggest that hormone replacement therapy can help promote breast cancer tumour growth, and the risk of breast cancer decreases if one stops hormone treatment.
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