Several weeks ago, a study suggested that women taking estrogen-only hormone replacement for treating menopause symptoms could be at lower risk for developing breast cancer. A much-larger study has now revealed that estrogen-only regimens if used for longer than ten years may raise a woman’s long-term risk for breast cancer.
The new study was funded by the National Cancer Institute, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
The study revealed that women who used estrogen-only therapy after menopause had 22 percent increased risk for breast cancer if they decided to use it for 10 to 14.9 years, and 43 percent greater risk if they used it longer than 15 years while t10 to 14.9 years, and 43 percent greater risk if they used it longer than 15 years.
“For combination therapy there is so much data about the dangers that we really tell people that if they must take it to treat symptoms, they should only do so for a year or two at most,” said study author Dr. Wendy Chen, an associate physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an assistant professor in medicine at the Breast Cancer Treatment Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. “For estrogen alone, there is more safety data for someone who wants to take it for five or six years.”
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