Hormone Use May increase Risk of Breast Cancer

A new study suggests that any type of hormone therapy may raise the risk of breast cancer in women who take the medications for longer than 10 years.

Researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute tracked the health of close to 60,000 women and found that those who used hormone therapy for 10 years or more had an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

The study showed that the risk for breast cancer was 88 percent higher in women who took estrogen and progesterone for 10-15 years when compared to women who did not use the drugs. Women who were on the combination therapy for 15 to 20 years were found to have double the risk of developing breast cancer. The results led researchers to conclude that the longer the women took the therapy, the higher the risk of breast cancer they had.

Studies have linked estrogen therapy and breast cancer since the 1990s, beginning with a study known as the Women’s Health Initiative that tracked the effects of estrogen-progestin combination pills and estrogen-only therapies. The study eventually ended when researchers detected increased risks of heart attack and breast cancer in patients who took estrogen-progestin and blood clots and stroke risks those who only took estrogen.

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