Cancer link to HRT refuted

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Cancer link to HRT refuted

Doctors should not rule out prescribing hormone replacement therapy to women who have had breast cancer, according to new research from the University of California.

A group of 145 women, all of whom had had breast cancer, were treated with oestrogen for an average of two-and-a-half years. The incidence of cancer recurrence was comparable to that of patients who did not take oestrogen. Of the test group, 129 are still alive and show no sign of the cancer coming back, 13 had a recurrence, two died of ovarian cancer and one of endometrial cancer.

Dr Wendy Brewster, who is to present her results at the annual meeting of the Society of Gynaecological Oncologists in Phoenix, Arizona, said that since oestrogen supplements protected against a wide range of diseases, including osteoporosis and heart disease, and that most women with breast cancer will die of some other cause, they should not be denied "the opportunity to protect their health and quality of life".