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Health & Fitness Menopausal women who take HRT may face up to a 79% higher risk of breast cancer, study suggests

03:05  29 october  2020
03:05  29 october  2020 Source:   uk.style.yahoo.com

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Estrogen-only hormone replacement therapy seems to lower breast cancer risk , while combination hormone replacement therapy increases risk Many postmenopausal women take hormone replacement therapy , also called HRT , to ease menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night

Hormone therapy during menopause raises breast cancer risk for years, study finds. For years, research has suggested a potential link between MHT and an increased risk of breast cancer . The longer women used MHT, the greater their risk of breast cancer . Women who were no longer using

A new study adds to a growing body of evidence about the potential harms of hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

HRT replaces hormones that naturally start to decline when a woman enters the menopause.

The controversial treatment can ease everything from hot flushes and mood swings to vaginal dryness and low libido, however, some types of the therapy are known to raise a woman’s risk of breast cancer.

According to the NHS, “the benefits of HRT are generally believed to outweigh the risks”.

To better understand this, scientists from the universities of Nottingham and Oxford analysed HRT prescriptions for more than 98,000 women aged 50 to 79 who were later diagnosed with breast cancer.

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The risk of breast cancer from using hormone replacement therapy is double what was previously thought, according to a major piece of research The UK’s drug licensing body suggested women who have used HRT in the past or use it now should be vigilant for signs of breast cancer in the light

Women aged 50 to 69 who take the most common type of HRT for five years or more run a 32 per cent risk of developing breast cancer s Oxford research says Based on 58 global studies , the research suggested that HRT causes around one in 20 cases of breast cancer – nearly 3,000 a year in Britain.

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They also looked at the prescriptions of more than 457,000 women of the same age who did not develop the disease.

Results suggest the women who recently took oestrogen-only HRT for five or more years were 15% more likely to develop breast cancer than those who were never prescribed the therapy.

Combined oestrogen-progesterone HRT over the same time period was associated with a 79% increased risk of the disease.

Medical 3D illustration of a dividing cancer cell with a cell surface © Provided by Yahoo! Style UK Medical 3D illustration of a dividing cancer cell with a cell surface

A doctor may not prescribe HRT if a woman has a history of breast, ovarian or womb cancer. Although unclear, the hormones may encourage malignant cells to grow.

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Systemic hormone replacement therapy ( HRT ) is taken orally or applied under or via the skin (as gels or Risk of breast cancer is higher for combined estrogen-progestogen HRT than estrogen-only HRT . The number of extra cases of breast cancer up to age 69 years in women taking HRT is

Women who take hormone replacement therapy ( HRT ) may cut their risk of heart problems, a study suggests , but experts are still cautious about long-term safety risks . Published in the journal BMJ, the study also found HRT is not associated with an increased risk of cancer or stroke

Of those who are eligible for the treatment, “most women take a combination of oestrogen and progestogen, although women who do not have a womb can take oestrogen on its own”. Taking oestrogen has been linked to womb cancer.

HRT can be administered via tablets, skin patches, gels, or vaginal creams, pessaries or rings.

Most women stop taking the therapy once their menopause symptoms have passed, usually after a few years.

For some, HRT can be “life-changing”, the Nottingham and Oxford scientists wrote in the BMJ.

As well as improving a patient’s quality of life, it has also been linked to a reduced risk of osteoporosis.


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The NHS acknowledges women who are on HRT for more than a year have a higher risk of breast cancer than those who never take it. This applies to all types of HRT, except vaginal oestrogen.

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HRT - Follow- up Assessments are an essential part of the hormone replacement therapy process. There is evidence that up to 79 % of women with premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) think that taking HRT under the age of 51 years is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer [8]. There is no

Your individual breast cancer risk may be higher or lower, depending on a number of factors Take family history, for example. The absolute risk of breast cancer is much higher for women who Compared to women who do not have radiation therapy , your relative risk of developing breast

HRT aside, one in seven women in the UK will statistically develop breast cancer at some point in their life.

Concerns over a heightened risk has led to a “substantial decrease” in HRT use over the past 17 years, with guidelines recommending it be taken for no more than five years.

In 2019, a review of 24 studies suggested HRT causes a “higher than expected breast cancer risk”, however, there was still uncertainty around the implications of different types and durations of the therapy.

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The Nottingham and Oxford scientists analysed two primary-care databases linked to hospital records to compare HRT prescriptions among women of the same age from the same GP surgery, some of whom developed breast cancer.

The results suggest the breast cancer risk was 15% higher among the women who recently took oestrogen-only HRT for five or more years.

Combined oestrogen and progesterone was linked to a 79% increased risk.

Oestrogen-only HRT was not linked to breast cancer among the women who took the therapy five or more years ago, with the duration of their treatment also lasting five or more years.

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Women 's risk of developing these can rise dramatically when the protective effect of oestrogen is 'But right up to the age of 60, regardless of when HRT was started, and for many women even after Studies suggest hormones taken orally can increase the risk of blood clots because they have to

Should you get hormone replacement therapy ( HRT ) after surgical menopause ? Removal of the ovaries before menopause has also been linked to a doubled risk of Parkinson's disease Doctors tend to be cautious about using HRT in breast cancer survivors. There's concern that estrogen might

Past short-term use of oestrogen-progesterone – defined as taking HRT five or more years ago for less than five years – was also not associated with an increased breast cancer risk.

The women who took oestrogen-progestogen five or more years ago, however – with the treatment also lasting five or more years – were 16% more likely to develop the disease.

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According to the NHS, “the increased risk of breast cancer falls after you stop taking HRT, but some increased risk remains for more than 10 years compared to women who have never used HRT”.

The scientists hope their results will give some clarity to how different types and durations of HRT influence a woman’s breast cancer risk, with the odds seeming to be higher when a combined hormone treatment is taken long-term.

“Our results add more evidence to the existing knowledge base, and should help doctors and women to identify the most appropriate HRT formulation and treatment regimen,” they wrote.

“[The result should also] provide more consistently derived information for women’s health experts, healthcare researchers and treatment policy professionals,”

HRT aside, menopausal women with hot flushes or night sweats may benefit from wearing light clothing, keeping their bedroom cool and avoiding triggers, like spicy food or alcohol.

Mood changes may be eased via relaxing exercises like yoga or cognitive behavioural therapy.

Over-the-counter vaginal lubricants can help with dryness, while a doctor may prescribe testosterone to boost a woman’s sex drive.

text © Yahoo Style UK

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