[MOL] Estrogens and Risk of Breast Cancer-Article Part 1 [01149] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Estrogens and Risk of Breast Cancer-Article Part 1

Title: Estrogens and Risk of Breast Cancer
Good Morning My Friend

 I found a series of articles that may be of some interest to those that are facing or experiencing this disease. It seems it is also
very informative to those that wish to learn so that there may be benefit to the eductional needs in possibly avoiding this malignancy. And for us men, who love our women friends and wives, it is also beneficial in how to support those wonderful women either facing or trying to avoid.

Hope this series of articles benefits.

God Bless You,
marty auslander

Medical Sciences Bulletin Contents

Estrogens and Risk of Breast Cancer

Reprinted from the August 1995 issue of Medical Sciences Bulletin , published by Pharmaceutical Information Associates, Ltd.

Harvard researchers reported recently that postmenopausal hormone therapy significantly increased the risk of breast cancer in participants involved in the Nurses' Health Study. The report was based on 1735 cases of invasive breast cancer in 725,550 person-years of follow-up. Compared with women who did not take hormones after menopause, those who took estrogen had a 32% higher risk of breast cancer and those who took estrogen plus progestin had a 41% increased risk. Risk was higher in women who had taken estrogen for 5 years or more (46%), and highest among women aged 60 to 64 years who took the hormone for 5 years or more (71%). (Colditz et al. N Engl J Med. 1995; 332: 1589-1593.)

These results fuel the ongoing controversy about the effects of postmenopausal hormone therapy on breast cancer risk. A National Institutes of Health (NIH) meta-analysis of more than 30 studies examining the possible link between hormones and breast cancer found little evidence that estrogens increase the overall risk of breast cancer in the short term, although prolonged use (more than 10 years) may be associated with an increased risk of 15% to 30%. (Steinberg KK. Epidemiology. 1994; 5: 415-421.)

When considering postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy, it is important to carefully weigh risks and benefits for each individual patient. Several studies have shown that estrogen therapy reduces the risk of heart disease by up to 50%. (Rich-Edwards JW. N Engl J Med. 1995; 332: 1758-1765. Gerhard M, Ganz P. Circulation. 1995; 92: 5-8.) Estrogen replacement therapy also significantly reduces the risk of hip and spine fractures. The Study of Osteoporotic Fractures Research Group found that the relative risk for all nonspinal fractures among current estrogen users was 0.69%; for users of combined estrogen/progestin therapy, it was 0.51%. (Cauley JA et al. Ann Intern Med. 1995; 122: 9-16.) Moreover, estrogens may also reduce the incidence of cancer of the colon and rectum, and possibly Parkinson's disease and macular degeneration. (Davidson NE. N Engl J Med. 1995; 332: 1638-1639. Calle EE et al. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1995; 87: 517-523. Vingerling JR et al. Br Med J. 1995; 310: 1570-1571.)

Even if there is a 30% increase in breast cancer risk, benefits may still exceed risks overall. Since women are 10 times as apt to die of heart disease as breast cancer, a 50% reduction in heart disease risk is theoretically more beneficial than a 30% increase in breast cancer risk. And this ignores any protective effects of estrogens on the digestive system, brain, and eye.

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