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Reported December 29, 2003

HRT Should Be Stopped at Breast Cancer Diagnosis

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Many women take hormone replacement therapy to prevent the symptoms of menopause. But if a woman on HRT is diagnosed with breast cancer, should she be taken off the hormones? New research shows HRT should be stopped at the time of a breast cancer diagnosis.

Researchers from the United Kingdom looked at the short-term biologic response after a woman is taken off HRT. The study included 140 women who had been using HRT at the time breast cancer diagnosis. The breast tumors were removed between two days and 31 days later. Of the women, 125 women stopped HRT at the time of biopsy and 15 continued to receive HRT until surgery. In addition, 55 women with breast cancer from the same period who were not receiving HRT at diagnosis were included in the study. Researchers then looked at the changes in the cells in each patient.

The study shows women who stopped HRT had a significant decrease in the measure of the epithelial cell proliferation. The changes were seen in the estrogen receptor positive tumors. They also found changes in other cells that were not observed in the other group of patients.

Researchers conclude estrogen receptor positive breast cancer has a favorable biological response to withdrawal of HRT. Therefore, study authors say HRT should no longer be given to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. They add the use of HRT by women with estrogen receptor positive tumors should proceed with extreme caution.

This article was reported by, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to:


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