Hormone replacement therapy linked to cancer recurrence

March 26th, 2008 - 11:59 am ICT by admin  


London, March 26 (IANS) Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for pre and post menopausal women increases the chances of recurrence in breast cancer survivors, according to a study. Previous studies have shown that HRT increases the incidence of breast cancer in healthy women, but its impact on survivors had remained obscure. Other studies had suggested that HRT had no effect or even might reduce recurrence.

However, a two-year follow-up trial has indicated that survivors taking HRT were more likely to suffer disease recurrence than those who did not take HRT.

Lars Holmberg of King’s College, London, and his colleagues examined the breast cancer rates in the trial after a median follow-up of four years.

The study found that 39 out of the 221 women in the HRT treatment arm had developed breast cancer recurrence or a new breast cancer malignancy, compared with 17 of 221 women in the control arm.

Findings of the study have been published in the latest issue of the journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The estimated five-year cumulative rate for disease recurrence was 22.2 percent for the HRT arm and 9.5 percent in the control arm, for an absolute increase in risk of 14.2 percent.

“The results of the trial indicate a substantial risk for a new breast cancer event among survivors using HRT.

“The risk elevation is in line with the evidence from observational studies and randomised trials that (HRT) increases the risk of breast cancer in healthy women,” said the authors.

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