Recent research presented today at EBCC-5 from the million women study found that taking Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) increased the risk of some types of breast cancer, but not others.
Scientists analysed the data from the UK study to try and find a link between HRT and the type of breast cancer that developed. The research found that women who took HRT had an increased risk of developing lobular cancer (affecting the cells in the ducts of the milk-producing glands) and tubular cancer. There was not such an increased risk of developing ductal breast cancer, the most common type of breast cancer that affects the cells lining the milk duct. There was no increase in the risk of medullary breast cancer, a kind of cancer that is common in women with a genetic predisposition to breast cancer.
The study demonstrated that women who had taken combined HRT (oestrogen and progesterone) had an even greater risk of developing lobular and tubular breast cancer than women on oestrogen only HRT. The researchers also discovered similar findings for women with breast cancer in situ - when the cancer has not spread to the surrounding tissues in the breast or other parts of the body. Women that took HRT had a significantly greater risk of developing lobular cancer in situ than ductal carcinoma in situ.
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