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Breast cancer risk associated with HRT increases with longer use, finds study

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l5332 (Published 30 August 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l5332
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

The longer that women take menopausal hormone therapy (MHT)—commonly referred to as hormone replacement therapy (HRT)—the higher their risk of developing breast cancer, according to a study from the Lancet.1

Researchers looked at all types of MHT (except topical vaginal oestrogens) and found they were all associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, with the risk being greater for users of oestrogen-progestagen hormone therapy compared with oestrogen only hormone therapy.

The increased risk lasted for more than 10 years after ceasing MHT, and was higher depending on the length of use.

The researchers said the study was about “getting the evidence right” rather than telling people what they should do, but asked for the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to review the data and decide if its guidance should change.

Currently, NICE says that MHT with oestrogen and progestogen can be associated with an increased risk of …

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