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Medicineworld.org: Why Breast cancer incidence is decreasing?

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Why Breast cancer incidence is decreasing?

Why Breast cancer incidence is decreasing?
Breast cancer incidence in the United States has dropped sharply and this decline might be due to the fact that millions of older women have stopped using hormone replacement treatment, as per research presented here at the 29th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

The scientists reported that there was an overall 7% relative decline in breast cancer incidence between 2002 and 2003 and that the steepest decline (12%) occurred in women aged between 50 and 69 diagnosed with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. ER-positive breast cancer depends on hormones for tumor growth, as per the report.

From their data, the scientists concluded that as a number of as 14,000 fewer women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 than in 2002, a year in which the American Cancer Society estimated 203,500 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed.

"It is the largest single drop in breast cancer incidence within a single year I am aware of," said Peter Ravdin, MD, PhD, a research professor in the department of biostatistics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in a press release.

"Something went right in 2003, and it seems that it was the decrease in the use of hormone treatment, but from the data we used we can only indirectly infer that is the case," he said. "But if it is true, the tumor growth effect of stopping use of HRT is very dramatic during a short period of time, making the difference between whether a tumor is detected on a mammogram or not in 2003," Ravdin said.

Hormonal treatment.

Donald Berry, PhD, professor and head of the division of quantitative sciences at MD Anderson Cancer Center, said he was, at first, surprised by both the magnitude and the rapidity of the decline in incidence. However, he said that it makes sense if you consider that use of HRT may be an important contributing factor to breast cancer development.

"The occurence rate of breast cancer had been increasing in the 20 or so years previous to July 2002, and this increase was over and above the known role of screening mammography," Berry said. "HRT had been proposed as a possible factor, eventhough the magnitude of any HRT effect was not known. Now the possibility that the effect is much greater than originally thought all along is plausible, and that is a remarkable finding."

HRT provides both estrogen and sometimes also progestin hormones to postmenopausal women. The ongoing Women's Health Initiative study of 16,608 women aged 50 to 79 years using HRT was prematurely stopped in July 2002 when the combination of estrogen and progestin was found to significantly increase the risk for developing invasive breast cancer.

Ravdin said about 30% of women older than 50 had been taking HRT in the early years of this decade, and about half of these women stopped using HRT in late 2002 after the results of the large study were announced.

"Research has shown that ER-positive tumors will stop growing if they are deprived of the hormones, so it is possible that a significant decrease in breast cancer can be seen if so a number of women stopped using HRT," he said.


Posted by: Janet    Source




Did you know?
Breast cancer incidence in the United States has dropped sharply and this decline might be due to the fact that millions of older women have stopped using hormone replacement treatment, as per research presented here at the 29th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The scientists reported that there was an overall 7% relative decline in breast cancer incidence between 2002 and 2003 and that the steepest decline (12%) occurred in women aged between 50 and 69 diagnosed with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. ER-positive breast cancer depends on hormones for tumor growth, as per the report.

Medicineworld.org: Why Breast cancer incidence is decreasing?

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