many women going through menopause, the problematic hormonal
changes involved can lead them to seek hormone replacement
therapy (HRT). HRT involves taking hormones like estrogen
and progestin to replenish hormone loss due to aging, for
results like improved sleep, hot-flash and night-sweat prevention,
and subdued mood swings. A possible association between long-term
use of HRT and breast cancer has been shown in numerous studies,
The authors of a study in the Journal of the American
Medical Association determined the link between HRT use
over a five-year period and incidence of breast cancer. Over
700 postmenopausal women 50-74 years old with breast cancer,
and nearly as many healthy women, were evaluated for hormone
Overall, breast cancer was 60-85% more likely in women who
had used HRT both recently and long-term. HRT use over multiple
years and combination therapy of both estrogen and progestin
increased risk of one type of breast cancer even more substantially.
Continuous long-term and combined-hormone therapy increased
lobular breast cancer (a specific type of breast cancer) risk
HRT use also increased risk for nonlobular breast cancer
(a more common form). If that isn't enough information to
scare you away from hormone therapy, you might be interested
to know that other possible side effects include acne; weight
gain; increased facial hair; high blood pressure; depression;
and heart attacks.
Chen CL, Weiss NS, Newcomb P, et al. Hormone replacement
therapy in relation to breast cancer. Journal of the American
Medical Association 2002:287(6), pp. 734-741.
For more women's health studies, go to http://www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/women.