Letter to the Editor
In mid-July, the media was rife with reports of the halt of part of the Women's Health Initiative, a huge multi-site study of hormone replacement therapy sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. A few years into the study, it was found that women who were receiving a combination estrogen/progestin product were more vulnerable to heart disease than were women not on hormones. (Note that the study involving women receiving estrogen only continues.) It was also reported, but not stressed, that women on the combination hormone product were 26% more likely to develop invasive breast cancer. In response to reports in the Montreal Gazette, the letter below was sent (but never published).
It has been known for some time that HRT contributes to the increased risks of breast cancer. In the newly revised balance sheet of HRT risks and benefits, attention has been paid to the increased incidence of strokes, heart attacks and blood clots.
The board members of Breast Cancer Action Montreal would like to re-focus attention on the Women's Health Initiative findings that women on HRT continue to have an in-creased risk of breast cancer. Few of us recognize that this risk also increases with age.
Let's pool our efforts to prevent breast cancer before it starts.
Board Members of Breast Cancer Action Montreal