Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Breast Tenderness During Hormone Replacement Therapy Linked To Elevated Cancer Risk

Date:
October 16, 2009
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Women who developed new-onset breast tenderness after starting estrogen plus progestin hormone replacement therapy were at significantly higher risk for developing breast cancer than women on the combination therapy who didn't experience such tenderness,

Women who developed new-onset breast tenderness after starting estrogen plus progestin hormone replacement therapy were at significantly higher risk for developing breast cancer than women on the combination therapy who didn't experience such tenderness, according to a new UCLA study.

The research, published in the Oct. 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, is based on data from more than 16,000 participants in the Women's Health Initiative estrogen-plus- progestin clinical trial. This trial was abruptly halted in July 2002 when researchers found that healthy menopausal women on the combination therapy had an elevated risk for invasive breast cancer.

Researchers do not know why breast tenderness indicates increased cancer risk among women on the combination therapy, said the new study's lead researcher, Dr. Carolyn J. Crandall, a clinical professor of general internal medicine and health services research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

"Is it because the hormone therapy is causing breast-tissue cells to multiply more rapidly, which causes breast tenderness and at the same time indicates increased cancer risk? We need to figure out what makes certain women more susceptible to developing breast tenderness during hormone therapy than other women," Crandall said.

This study compared the daily use of oral conjugated equine estrogens (0.625 mg) plus medroxyprogesterone acetate (2.5 mg), or CEE+MPA, with the daily use of a placebo pill.

Of the participants in the trial, 8,506 took estrogen plus progestin and 8,102 were given placebos. Participants underwent mammography and clinical breast exams at the start of the trial and annually thereafter. Self-reported breast tenderness was assessed at the beginning of the trial and one year later, and invasive breast cancer over the next 5.6 years was confirmed by medical record review.

Women on the combination therapy who did not have breast tenderness at the trial's inception were found to have a threefold greater risk of developing tenderness at the one-year mark, compared with participants who were assigned placebos (36.1 percent vs. 11.8 percent). Among the women who did report breast tenderness at the beginning, the risk at one-year was about 1.26 times that of their counterparts on placebos.

Of the women who reported new-onset breast tenderness, 76.3 percent had been on the combination therapy.

Women in the combination therapy group who did not have breast tenderness at the outset but experienced new-onset tenderness at the first annual follow-up had a 48 percent higher risk of invasive breast cancer than their counterparts on combination therapy who did not have breast tenderness at the first-year follow-up.

"To our knowledge, no prior published studies have addressed whether there is an association between CEE+MPA–induced new-onset breast tenderness and breast cancer risk," Crandall said.

The study does have limitations. The data the researchers used assessed breast tenderness only annually and thus could have underestimated it. Also, the rates of women discontinuing the combination therapy and switching from placebos to active therapy were relatively high, though the researchers believe this could have decreased, rather than increased, the observed association between new-onset tenderness and cancer risk. And the results don't apply to other types of estrogen or progestin therapy.

Study co-authors were Rowan Chlebowski of UCLA; Aaron K. Aragaki, Anne McTiernan and Garnet Anderson of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle; Susan L. Hendrix of Wayne State University–Hutzel Women's Hospital in Detroit; Barbara B. Cochrane of the University of Washington; and Lewis H. Kuller and Jane A. Cauley of the University of Pittsburgh.

Grants from the National Institute on Aging and the Tarlow-Eisner-Moss Research Endowment of the Iris Cantor–UCLA Women's Health Center funded Crandall's research. Funding for the Women's Health Initiative comes through the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Breast Tenderness During Hormone Replacement Therapy Linked To Elevated Cancer Risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091012230458.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2009, October 16). Breast Tenderness During Hormone Replacement Therapy Linked To Elevated Cancer Risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091012230458.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Breast Tenderness During Hormone Replacement Therapy Linked To Elevated Cancer Risk." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091012230458.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins