Current best practices and rationalistic perspectives in causation-based prevention, early detection and multidisciplinary treatment of breast and gastric cancer


Gastric & Breast Cancer
DOI: 10.2122/gbc.2002.0017

PERSPECTIVE
October, 2002

Does hormone replacement therapy increase breast-cancer risk?

ABSTRACT

Millions 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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Online ISSN : 1109 - 7647
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last update: 22 May 2003