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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Hormones and breast cancer

The New York Times: When researchers reported recently that a precipitous drop in breast cancer rates might be explained by a corresponding decrease in the use of hormones for menopause, women reacted with shock, anger and, in some cases, profound relief that they had never taken the drugs.

But many also had questions. How certain were scientists that the hormones were responsible? How could stopping hormones have such an immediate and pronounced effect? And how much did scientists really know about the biology of breast cancer and hormones?

The data seemed clear enough. In 2003, after climbing for almost seven decades, the breast cancer rate fell for the first time in the United States, and it fell sharply. Over all, the incidence of newly diagnosed breast cancer dropped 7 percent, and it dropped 15 percent among women with cancers whose growth is fueled by estrogen.

There also was no question that at the same time, women had begun to abandon hormones as a treatment for menopause. In July 2002, a large study, the Women’s Health Initiative, concluded that a popular hormone therapy for menopause, Prempro, made by Wyeth, slightly increased the risk of breast cancer. Within the next six months, prescriptions for Prempro dropped by half.

A connection between hormone use and breast cancer rates did not surprise scientists like Dr. V. Craig Jordan, vice president and scientific director for the medical science division at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.
Dr. Jordan is a leader in studying the effects of estrogen-blocking drugs on breast cancer. Among his many awards is this year’s American Cancer Society Award from the American Society for Clinical Oncology for his work on estrogen and the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.

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1 Comments:

Blogger earnest said...

» International Trial Of Novel Breast Cancer Drug
14/12/06 07:03 from Breast cancer blog from medicineworld.org
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A clinical trial of a new targeted breast cancer drug, led by
physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer
Center, has begun enrolling patients. The TEACH (Tykerb
Evaluation After CHemotherapy) trial will investigate ...


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