Controversy over the link between hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer has been reignited after scientists cast doubt on the report which first established the connection.

The "Million Women Study" of 2003 concluded that taking HRT doubled a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. This risk has been underlined by further findings from the study, funded by Cancer Research UK.

But scientists writing in the Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health cast doubt on the conclusions after identifying flaws which they claimed would have skewed the findings. "If the evidence was unreliable, the only effect of its massive size would have been to confer spurious statistical authority to doubtful findings," critics said.

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