Hormone therapy associated with increased risk of death from breast cancer
October 16, 2015
Results showed that combined hormone therapy increases the incidence of invasive breast cancer and that, more commonly, the cancers had spread to the lymph nodes. There also were more deaths attributed to breast cancer in those taking hormone therapy -- 2.6 versus 1.3 per 10,000 women. There also were more deaths from all causes in the women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer who were on hormone therapy -- 5.3 versus 3.4 per 10,000.
The trial also found that hormone therapy interfered with detection of breast cancer, leading to cancers being diagnosed at a more advanced stage.
"These findings related to increased mortality in estrogen plus progestin users were surprising," says Wactawski-Wende. "Prior studies had suggested that, although these women were diagnosed with breast cancer, their prognosis was more positive than those who were not on hormone therapy when diagnosed. This study emphasizes the importance of clinical trial data to understand the risks and benefits of taking hormone therapy."
Wactawski-Wende will oversee the next five-year round of WHI studies carried out by the nine original WHI research centers in the Northeast, funded by an $8.2 million award to UB from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Rowan T. Chlebowski, MD, PhD, from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, is principal author on this report.
Source: University at Buffalo