Breast cancer incidence falls as women give up HRT

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 23 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b791
  1. Roger Dobson
  1. 1Abergavenny

    A falling incidence of breast cancer among postmenopausal women in the United Kingdom may be linked to lesser use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), a new study claims.

    The researchers have calculated that between 1999 and 2005 the risk of the disease among women in their 50s fell by 14%. This, they say, represents 1400 fewer cases in 2005 than would have been expected had use of HRT remained unchanged (European Journal of Cancer, doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2009.01.016).

    “The results suggest that the decline in incidence of breast cancer since 1999 at ages 50-59 and since 2003 at ages 60-64 is a consequence of the reduced use of HRT,” says the report.

    The researchers looked at trends in the use of hormone preparations between 1992 and 2006, along with recent trends (1975 to 2005) in the incidence of breast cancer.

    Use of HRT began to fall after the Women’s Health Initiative …

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