Millions of women stopped taking HRT for menopausal symptoms following a series of studies that linked it to a range of serious diseases, including breast cancer.
Breast cancer rates fell by 12 per cent in 2003 among women aged between 50 and 69, who were most likely to have HRT. UK researchers have reported a smaller, but still significant, fall in breast cancer rates among British women of a similar age.
Researchers from the University of Texas reported that 14,000 fewer women had been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003, which coincides with a dramatic and sudden drop-off in those taking HRT after a study the previous year discovered a link between the drug and breast cancer.
Researcher Dr Peter Ravdin said: "It is the largest single drop in breast cancer incidence within a single year I am aware of. Something went right in 2003, and it seems that it was the decrease in the use of hormone therapy."
(Source: BBC, 15 December 2006).
E-news broadcast 21 December 2006 No.320 [Subscribe]