Cancer Research UK voices caution on HRT report

In collaboration with the Press Association

Cancer Research UK has responded to research that found no link between oestrogen-only hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and increased breast cancer risk with a warning that the research did not mean the treatment was risk-free.

The report, which draws on data from the Women's Health Initiative, a major US study of women?s health, focused on the effects of oestrogen-only HRT on 10,739 women who had had hysterectomies.

Over a seven year follow up, researchers said that they could find no relationship between oestrogen-only HRT and breast cancer risk.

In August 2003, a major UK study found that both types of HRT were associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

"Although this particular study shows no increase in breast cancers from oestrogen only HRT - in contrast to other large studies which do show an increase - there are still considerable side-effects associated with it," said professor John Toy of Cancer Research UK.

"There was a 50 per cent increase in abnormal mammograms and a 33 per cent increase in the number of breast biopsies required.

"These are both very worrying experiences for women to endure. " he added.

The research is published in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Read the press release from the Million Women Study