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Study identifies potential 'safe period' for hormone replacement use
Date:2/2/2009

A new study makes important new findings on the role of hormone use on the risk of breast cancer, confirming that the use of estrogen plus progesterone increases the risk of both ductal and lobular breast cancer far more than estrogen-only; suggesting a two-year "safe" period for the use of estrogen and progesterone; and finding that the increased risk for ductal cancers observed in long-term past users of hormone replacement therapy drops off substantially two years after hormone use is stopped. The study appears in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

Previous studies have shown that hormone replacement therapy after menopause increases the risk of breast cancer and that use of a regimen that includes both estrogen and progesterone is more detrimental for the breast than the use of estrogen alone. But more data from large prospective studies are needed to fully characterize the impact of exogenous hormones on breast cancer incidence by type of hormone preparation and histology of the cancer.

To investigate the association in more detail, American Cancer Society epidemiologists led by Eugenia E. Calle, PhD, did a prospective study of 68,369 postmenopausal women who were cancer-free at baseline in 1992. They examined the use of estrogen-only and estrogen and progesterone in current and former users of varying duration, and the subsequent risk of developing invasive ductal and lobular carcinoma of the breast. They also looked at whether the risk for each type of breast cancer and each type of hormone regimen varied by body mass index (BMI), stage of disease at diagnosis, and estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) status. For the present study, the follow-up period ended on June 30, 2005.

They confirmed the findings from previous work that estrogen and progesterone increases the risk of both ductal and lobular breast cancer far more estrogen alone. They also found the risk associated wi
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Contact: David Sampson
david.sampson@cancer.org
American Cancer Society
Source:Eurekalert

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