London, Jan 16 (UNI) Prolonged use of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) increases the risk of breast cancer, researchers warned.
They said women who use HRT for three years or more face a higher risk of developing a certain type of breast cancer.
A US study, conducted at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Washington, said combined HRT-- which includes two hormones-- carries a three-fold extra risk for developing lobular tumours, which form in the milk-producing glands and account for about 15 per cent of all breast cancer cases.
However, this type of cancer tends to be more easily treated and is less likely to be fatal.
Dr Christopher Li, who led the team, said, ''Previous research indicated that five or more years of combined hormone therapy was necessary to increase overall breast cancer risk.
''Our study suggests that a significantly shorter exposure may confer an increased risk,''the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
The HRT is used to ease the symptoms of menopause.
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