Menopausal hormones and the risk of breast cancer


Journal Article

Menopausal hormone replacement therapy has evolved into a long-term preventive measure because of its notable benefits on osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. This has raised the concern that prolonged use of hormones may increase the risk of breast cancer. Numerous studies over the past 15 years have failed to show a strong and consistent increase in the risk of breast cancer among women using unopposed estrogen therapy. However, the evidence does suggest that women with a family history of breast cancer or women who are long-term users may be at higher risk. Hormone replacement therapy consisting of an estrogen and progestin is a relatively recent practice and few studies have been able to evaluate its effect on breast cancer. Those epidemiologic studies that have examined the risk of breast cancer related to estrogen and progestin use have had limited power to detect an effect, and results have been inconsistent. Like-wise, biologic mechanisms have been proposed that favor alternately a protective or deleterious effect of progestins on the risk of breast cancer. Therefore, conclusions about the effect of combination estrogen and progestin menopausal replacement therapy must await the completion of additional epidemiologic studies. © 1992 by Williams and Wilkins.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Moorman, PG; Hulka, BS

Published Date

  • January 1, 1992

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 2 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 189 - 194

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1539-9192

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1051-2144

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/00019616-199205000-00009

Citation Source

  • Scopus