According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common cancer worldwide among women. It is the fifth most deadly cancer, killing about 502,000 people per year. All of us know a family who has had to deal with this most serious problem.

A study published in the January issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention found that women who used combination hormone therapy for three or more years had a higher risk of lobular cancer.

The study was led by Dr. Christopher Li of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and was designed to evaluate the relationship between combination hormone therapy and lobular breast cancers. Previous research indicated that five or more years of combined hormone therapy use was necessary to increase overall breast cancer risk. The study led by Dr. Li found that women who took combined hormone therapy for three years or more had four times the usual risk of lobular breast cancer.

The incidence of invasive lobular cancer rose by 52% in the United States between 1987 and 1999, and cases of ductal-lobular breast cancer rose by 96% during that time. According to Dr. Li, their research “suggests that the use of post-menopausal hormone-replacement therapy, specifically the use of combined estrogen-plus-progestin preparations, may be contributing to this increase.” Following the announcement of the results of the Women’s Health Initiative in July 2002, hormone therapy use fell sharply.

The incidence of breast cancer dropped more than 8% between 2001 and 2004. Beasley Allen law firm has been involved in extensive litigation dealing with hormone therapy and breast cancer.


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