Menopause Treatment and Breast Cancer
Written by Faith Anderson on March 27, 2013
Risk of Breast Cancer With Hormone Therapy
As part of the Women’s Health Initiative project, nearly 70,000 postmenopausal women participated in randomized clinical trials. According to the study authors, the study participants who took estrogen and progestin had higher rates of breast cancer diagnoses and breast cancer deaths. At the same time, more than 90,000 other women took part in an observational study that tracked their hormone use and overall health over an average of 11 years. Along with many other similar studies, this analysis found that women who took hormones to treat menopause symptoms and developed breast cancer were less likely to die from the disease compared to women who got breast cancer without taking hormones. Lead study author Rowan Chlebowski suspected that the discrepancy between the studies could have been due to key differences between the women involved.
Cancers Related to Hormone Therapy are Just as Deadly
In order to more accurately identify the risk of breast cancer and breast cancer death associated with hormone therapy, Chlebowski and his team identified a subset of more than 41,000 women from the observational study that more closely resembled the women who participated in the randomized trial. In doing so, the study authors set aside women who were not using hormone replacement therapy when they participated in the study, but had taken them in the past. The results Chlebowski’s team found were more closely in line with the findings from the original randomized trial – survival after breast cancer was similar for both hormone users and non-hormone users, and tumors that arose in women who took hormones were no less deadly.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer for Legal Help
According to Chlebowski, the original findings may have been different because women who had taken hormones years before may have already developed aggressive forms of cancer and would not have been able to participate in the study in the first place. If you developed breast cancer or another serious illness while undergoing a medical procedure like hormone replacement therapy, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help you contact a reputable lawyer in your area, with whom you can discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the allegedly negligent person or party, in order to pursue financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.