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Is HRT the Culprit? Fall in Breast Cancer Cases After Women Cease HRT

There has been an evident reduction in the breast cancer cases in 2003.// Researchers have been mulling over the reasons for this, and one conceivable reason has particularly caught their attention. Nearly millions of women had abandoned hormone replacement therapy in 2002. Whether mere reduction in HRT has brought out such a huge difference, is being debated over.

There has been an almost 7 percent reduction in the number of breast cancer cases, estimated at 14,000 women in the United States, who were in the age group of 50 to 69 yrs.

Dr. Clifford Hudis, chief of the Breast Cancer Medicine Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York said, "It is biologically plausible, and there is no other glaring change in public health to explain the change. This is more evidence that HRT is risky in terms of breast cancer."

Few experts have suggested that the findings are incomplete, not having considered all the facts that could have led to the reduction. However it is an optimistic statistic, which has raised the curiosity of the researchers.

The fall in breast cancer cases may also be due to fewer women getting screened for the affliction, opines another school of thought. Michael Thun, vice president of epidemiology and surveillance research of the American Cancer Society, said, “ At this point, it's still an intriguing and promising observation, but very early. Creates the false impression that incidence rates are falling, whereas what is actually happening is that many early tumors are not being detected."

Nevertheless, the exact reason for the falling breast cancer rates needs to be probed further, to enable a clear picture.


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