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Medicineworld.org: Estrogen Alone HRT Does Not Increase Breast Cancer Risk

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Estrogen Alone Hrt Does Not Increase Breast Cancer Risk

Estrogen Alone HRT Does Not Increase Breast Cancer Risk
New research is suggesting that estrogen may not be as bad it was thought in terms of breast cancer risk. Scientists have found that estrogen-alone hormone treatment does not increase the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. This result comes from an updated analysis of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Estrogen-Alone Trial.

These results are in apparent contrast with previously reported WHI Estrogen plus Progestin Trial, which found an increase in breast cancer if use exceeds 5 years.

These new research findings appear in the latest issue of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). These researchers followed postmenopausal women who were taking estrogen-alone hormone replacement over a period of 7 years. Over this period, women who were taking estrogen replacement actually had fewer breast cancers compared to those women who were taking placebo.

While women who were taking estrogen-alone hormone replacement had an incidence rate of 28 per 10,0000 participants per year, women who were taking placebo had an incidence rate of 34 per 10,000 participants per year. The difference in rates of breast cancer (6 per 10,000) between the groups was not statistically significant, meaning it could have occurred by chance.

The new analysis also found that participants taking estrogen had 50 percent more abnormal mammograms compared to those women who were taking placebo. Obviously an abnormal mammogram does not necessarily mean cancer as it was shown in the study results.

This WHI Estrogen-Alone Trial was stopped at the end of February 2004 because of an increased risk of stroke and no significant effect on heart disease. The trial also found that estrogen increased the risk of blood clots in the legs, reduced the risk of hip fractures and had no significant effect on colorectal cancer. A separate report on the WHI memory study found estrogen increased memory problems. The WHI Estrogen Plus Progestin study was stopped in 2002 because of an increased risk of breast cancer and because, overall, risks from use of the hormones outweighed the benefits. The combination treatment increased the risk for heart attack, stroke, and blood clots but also reduced the risk for hip and other fractures, and colorectal cancer.

When the WHI Estrogen-Alone Trial findings were published in April 2004, the effect on invasive breast cancer was uncertain. At that time, 218 cases of breast cancer had been reported among all estrogen study participants and there was no in-depth analysis yet of the cancers. The new report provides a more detailed analysis of 237 invasive breast cancers and of the mammograms in the two study groups.

Please be aware that currently estrogen-alone (without progestin) hormone replacement is only recommended for women without a uterus. Women with a uterus who take estrogen have an increased risk of endometrial cancer, and that was the reason for the recommendation to take estrogen combined with progestin.

"This finding underscores the need to individualize therapy for menopause symptoms based on a woman's medical history and her risk profile," said WHI Project Officer Jacques Rossouw, M.D.

Stanford University's Marcia Stefanick, Ph.D., the study's lead author says "What is clear now is that, overall, postmenopausal women without a uterus who choose to take estrogen-alone do not have an increased breast cancer risk, at least over the first 7 years of therapy. This is clinically relevant, but women who are taking estrogen should also be aware that they will likely need more repeat mammograms and more breast biopsies," she said.



Posted by: Emily    Source




Did you know?
New research is suggesting that estrogen may not be as bad it was thought in terms of breast cancer risk. Scientists have found that estrogen-alone hormone treatment does not increase the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. This result comes from an updated analysis of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Estrogen-Alone Trial.

Medicineworld.org: Estrogen Alone HRT Does Not Increase Breast Cancer Risk

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