Recent studies have established a fairly conclusive link between
some forms of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and an increased
risk of breast cancer - particularly HRT regimens that rely
on combined (e.g., estrogen and progestin) therapy. The latest
study on combined HRT therapy goes one step further in suggesting
that women need to be wary.
The purpose of this study was to determine if a correlation
exists between the duration of replacement therapy use and
breast cancer. The study assessed women between 65-79 who
had been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, and who use
unopposed estrogen replacement therapy (EST), combined hormone
replacement therapy (CHRT), or both.
results of this study showed that women who used EST exclusively
for extended periods of time were not more prone to developing
breast cancer, while women who used CHRT showed an increased
risk for breast cancer, especially when using CHRT for longer
durations and regardless of whether CHRT was utilized in a
sequential or continuous fashion.
Natural alternatives to hormone replacement therapy do exist,
and each woman should weigh the benefits and risks before
starting any regimen, particularly one based on combined hormone
administration. Additional information on the benefits and
risks of HRT can be found at www.amwa-doc.org/healthtopics/hrt_breastcancer_qa.htm
Li CI, Malone KE, Porter PL, et al. Relationship
between long durations and different regimens of hormone therapy
and risk of breast cancer. Journal of the American Medical
Association, June 25, 2003: Volume 289, Number 24, p.3254.
For more information on women's health, visit www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/women.