A new study makes a link between combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and an increased breast cancer risk. Women who use this type of therapy are at three times higher risk of getting breast cancer than those who don’t. Researchers also pointed out that previous studies have overlooked this danger.
Hormone replacement therapy is used to treat symptoms which occur during menopause. These symptoms include migraines, insomnia, mood changes, depression or hot flashes. Statistics show that almost one in ten women who are in their 50s, and live in the United Kingdom use a type of hormone replacement therapy that contains estrogen and progestogen. Using estrogen alone as a hormone replacement therapy can lead to an increased risk of womb cancer, so until now doctors believed that combining progestogen and estrogen is a good idea to minimize that risk.
Contrary to the previous medical opinion so far, a study published in the Journal of Cancer from the United Kingdom revealed that women who were taking combined hormone therapy had a 2.7-time greater risk of developing breast cancer than those who did not. Experts at the Institute of Cancer Research in London came to the conclusion that previous studies had overlooked that risk.
Professor Anthony Swerdlow, study leader stated that his team’s research shows that many previous studies have not taken into consideration the huge risk for cancer that hormone replacement therapy involves.
The new findings should enable women to make a conscious decision whether to take hormone replacement therapy or not – according to Swerdlow.
The research has been sponsored by the Breast Cancer Now’s Generation Study. It is an important study which aims to gather and analyze data from more than 100,000 women over the course of 40 years, to assess the risk of breast cancer.
For this particular survey, experts evaluated at least 39,000 women for a period of six years. During that time, 775 – or two percent got breast cancer. All these women were using combined hormone replacement therapy.
The good news is that researchers also found out that the level of risk returns to normal, once the HRT treatment is stopped. HRT should be a personal choice, but It should also be an informed choice, which should be discussed with a woman’s GP.
Image Source – Cebu Daily