Breast cancer and hormone-replacement therapy in the Million Women Study

Published 8th August, 2003

Today [08.08.2003] the Lancet is publishing a paper by Professor Valerie Beral et al revealing the first results from the Million Women study. The study confirms that current and recent use of HRT can increase a woman's chance of developing breast cancer.

The study, funded by Cancer Research UK, the NHS Breast Screening Programme and the Medical Research Council, also found that:

  • Current users of HRT are at a 22 per cent relative increased risk of death from breast cancer compared with never-users.
  • The relative risk of breast cancer varied significantly among three HRT types and was substantially greater in users of oestrogen-progestogen combinations than other preparations.
  • Use of HRT by women aged 50-64 years in the UK over the past decade has resulted in an estimated 20,000 extra breast cancers, of which 15,000 are likely to be associated with oestrogen-progestogen HRT.

For further information please visit the Million Women Study website.

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