HRT and Breast Cancer Redux

Here’s more evidence about the dangers of hormone replacement therapy. The number of post-menopausal women diagnosed with breast cancer in Canada fell markedly in the two years following a blockbuster study that revealed the dangers of HRT.

Many Canadian women stopped hormone replacement therapy, in 2002 after a large U.S. clinical trial suggested the breast cancer, heart and stroke risks of taking HRT outweighed the benefits.

After that happened, the number of new breast cancers in Canadian women aged 50 to 69 fell by almost 10 percent, according to researchers from The Canadian Cancer Society.

The findings confirm what studies in other countries such as the U.S. have already showed: when women stop using the therapy, the rate of breast cancer falls.

The controversy about the safety and appropriate use of HRT rages on. Many experts believe that that short-term use is safe.

This latest Canadian study found that breast cancer in this age group continued to decline gradually through to 2005. But it has increased slightly since then. Researchers say that may mean that HRT is not causing the breast cancer making it to grow more quickly once it’s established. However, that theory needs more study.

Bottom line according to the Canadian Cancer Society, the drugs should be used only to treat severe symptoms of menopause and after consulting a physician.

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