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Benefits of stopping HRT on breast cancer risk

The increased risk of breast cancer associated with use of combined HRT declines markedly soon after women discontinue treatment, a US analysis of data from the Women's Health Initiative reports.

Some 15,387 original trial participants who had not previously received a diagnosis of breast cancer, and 41,449 women in a separate observational study who had been advised to stop HRT, were followed since the WHI began in 2002.

Researchers found a 50% decline in hormone use coincided with a 43% fall in breast cancer rates between 2002 and 2003. Women in the second group who carried on taking HRT doubled their breast cancer risk every year.

NEJM 2009;360:573-87.

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