Breast Cancer Risk Increased By The Use Of Combination Hormone-Replacement Therapy
According to new research from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute in Seattle, women who use combination hormone-replacement therapy are at an increased risk of lobular breast cancer. Researchers came to their conclusion after analyzing data from over 4,000 postmenopausal women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer and over 4,000 women with no history of the disease. According to the study there was no risk of breast cancer of any type for women who used estrogen only. Source: Cancer, December 15, 2002.
U.S. Government Lists Estrogen Replacement Therapy As Carcinogenic
According to a report that is part of the National Toxicology Program's biennial review of cancer causing agents, estrogen replacement therapy joins an official list of cancer causers along with wood dust and ultraviolet light. Several estrogen compounds had been put on past carcinogen lists, but the new report expands the category to include the whole class of steroidal estrogens. Researchers involved in the report say that it is not known whether estrogen used in combination with other hormones, such as oral contraceptives, maintains its carcinogenic effect. Source: www.msnbc.com.
Hormone Trial Ceases Due To Risks
A large government research study, known as the Women's Health Initiative, was abruptly halted on Tuesday July 9th, five years into its 8 1/2-year run. The research, involving more than 16,000 women, began as a means of settling the debate over whether or not Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) benefits menopausal women. Menopause is brought about as a women ages and her ovaries begin to produce less of the key female hormone estrogen, whose absence may bring about any number of uncomfortable emotional and physical changes. Women in the treatment group received a commonly prescribed pharmaceutical HRT medication consisting of a combination of estrogen and progestin, while women in the non-treatment group received sugar pills as their placebos. It was believed that the introduction of synthetically derived hormone drugs into a women's body might alleviate menopausal symptoms and create positive side effects. As the study progressed, data began to emerge suggesting that the hormone drugs may cause more harm than good. After five years, results showed that the hormone therapy being used in the trial increased a woman's risk of invasive breast cancer by 26 percent, strokes by 41 percent and blood clots by 100 per cent. Also, researchers found that the risk of coronary heart disease did not decrease, as was originally thought. Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, July 17, 2002.