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HRT cancer link confirmed

5th February 2009

US researchers have put forward new evidence of link between risk of breast cancer and hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

A woman's breast cancer risk fell sharply when they stopped taking HRT according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

A UK expert said a 50% drop in HRT use in recent years had probably stopped up to 1,000 breast cancer cases a year. However, another group of experts said the fall in breast cancer rates may be due to other factors.

Dr David Sturdee, president of the International Menopause Society, which represents HRT specialists, said women should speak to their doctors to see if HRT would be appropriate.

He said: "There's no doubt there has been a drop in breast cancer rates, which is very good news, but this started before the reduction in HRT use.

"There's something happening, which is worth investigating, but it's unlikely to be HRT."

A spokesman for Breakthrough Breast Cancer said previous research had suggested that the extra risk of breast cancer linked to HRT disappeared after five years.

 

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