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Eur J Cancer. 2009 Jun;45(9):1649-53. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2009.01.016. Epub 2009 Feb 11.

Is the recent fall in incidence of post-menopausal breast cancer in UK related to changes in use of hormone replacement therapy?

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Queen Mary University of London, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Cancer Research UK Centre for Epidemiology, Mathematics and Statistics, Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ, United Kingdom.


There has been a substantial decline in the use of female sex hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in the United Kingdom, particularly by post-menopausal women, since around 2000-2001. Given what is known of the risk of breast cancer in women receiving HRT, the decline in use should have resulted in a decrease in risk, and incidence rates about 14% lower than expected were predicted for the age group 50-59 in 2005. There has been a recent slowing and reversal of the increasing trends in incidence of breast cancer in the age group 45-64. This is most marked at ages 50-59, where rates since 1999 have been decreasing at 0.8% a year, following a long period of sustained increase. It seems probable that these two events are causally related.

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