& Breast Cancer
hormone replacement therapy increase breast-cancer risk?
of menopausal women globally -6 million in the U.S. alone have
used since many years hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Now a
national study reveals that the combination estrogen-progestin
regimen does more harm than benefit; HRT increased risks of breast
cancer, heart attack, stroke and venous thromboembolic events,
but decreased risk of colorectal cancer and fractures.
The study has been considered a triumph for evidence-based medicine
and was abandoned in early July because after 5.2 years follow-up,
the incidence of breast cancer was increased by 26% among women
taking the drug in comparison with those who were taking a placebo.
The researchers underscore that HRT has not one risk but several,
and since they run concurrently they add up over time. Consequently,
given the millions of women who have been on the regimen, it is
likely-by conservative estimates-that many thousands of them have
developed or will develop breast cancer or a life-threatening
cardiovascular illness as a result.
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