HRT-use associated with an increased Risk of Breast Cancer

Estrogen Plus Progestin and Breast Cancer Incidence and Mortality in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study

WHI: Combo HRT, Breast Cancer Risk LinkedThe use of combined estrogen plus progestin among postmenopausal women was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, a longer-term analysis of data from the observational Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) suggested.

Read WHI: Combo HRT, Breast Cancer Risk Linked and Estrogen Plus Progestin and Breast Cancer Incidence and Mortality in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study.

DES Action USA commented:
Most DES Daughters go cautiously when considering HRT-use to avoid additional hormonal exposures. Another study now bolsters the concern. While not specifically about DES it’s a good reminder for all to use the lowest dose for shortest period of time – if absolutely needed. ”

Abstract

Background
In the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) randomized trial, estrogen plus progestin increased both breast cancer incidence and mortality. In contrast, most observational studies associate estrogen plus progestin with favorable prognosis breast cancers. To address differences, a cohort of WHI observational study participants with characteristics similar to the WHI clinical trial was studied.

Methods
We identified 41 449 postmenopausal women with no prior hysterectomy and mammogram negative within 2 years who were either not hormone users (n = 25 328) or estrogen and progestin users (n = 16 121). Multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazard regression was used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). All statistical tests were two-sided.

Results
After a mean of 11.3 (SD = 3.1) years, with 2236 breast cancers, incidence was higher in estrogen plus progestin users than in nonusers (0.60% vs 0.42%, annualized rate, respectively; HR = 1.55, 95% CI = 1.41 to 1.70, P < .001). Women initiating hormone therapy closer to menopause had higher breast cancer risk with linear diminishing influence as time from menopause increased (P < .001). Survival after breast cancer, measured from diagnosis, was similar in combined hormone therapy users and nonusers (HR = 1.03, 95% CI = 0.79 to 1.35). On a population basis, there were somewhat more deaths from breast cancer, measured from cohort entry (HR = 1.32, 95% CI = 0.90 to 1.93, P = .15), and more all-cause deaths after breast cancer (HR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.29 to 2.12, P < .001) in estrogen plus progestin users than in nonusers.

Conclusions
Consistent with WHI randomized trial findings, estrogen plus progestin use is associated with increased breast cancer incidence. Because prognosis after diagnosis on combined hormone therapy is similar to that of nonusers, increased breast cancer mortality can be expected.

Author: DES Daughter

Activist, blogger and social media addict committed to shedding light on a global health scandal and dedicated to raise DES awareness.

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