Breast Cancer Risk Doubles in Women On Hormone Replacement Therapy

It found that breast cancer risk in women taking hormone replacement therapy is double of what was earlier thought.

Published30 Aug 2019, 07:20 AM IST
Her Health
2 min read

A disturbing new study has found that breast cancer risk in women taking hormone replacement therapy is double of what was earlier thought. It makes the link between HRT and cancer that much clearer.

The findings are likely to impact millions of women across the world that are on the therapy. The study has further found that the risk doesn’t immediately go away as soon as you stop taking the pills. It remains for the next 10 years.

Doctors have urged women on HRT not to panic, but to be vigilant of any signs and symptoms and get themselves regularly assessed.

Breast cancer remains the most common type of cancer among women in India.

According to the report, published in The Lancet Medical Journal, one in 50 women of average weight taking the most common form of HRT, that is combined daily oestrogen and progestogen for five years are likely to get breast cancer.

HRT and Menopause

Hormone Replacement Therapy, also called Menopausal Hormone Therapy is usually used to ease symptoms and side effects of menopause. These include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood swings, vaginal dryness, according to WebMD. The therapy is given to those women for whom the symptoms are extreme and severely affect their quality of life and go on even during the post menopausal stage.

Doctors advice that women limit the treatment to the lowest dosage and less amount of time as the study says up to one year of the treatment is risk-free.

There have been several previous studies that have drawn on the link between HRT and breast, and to some extent ovarian cancer. However these studies have been met with skepticism by doctors, specially gynaecologists who see the benefit of the therapy for their patients. Some doctors have said that HRT also protects women from heart attacks, strokes and osteoporosis. But the current study finds no such benefit.

The current study looked at data from 58 studies on more than 100,000 women who got breast cancer after being on the therapy.

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