Stopping HRT does not end cancer risk

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London, Mar 5 (UNI) Contrary to popular belief that stopping Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) ends the risk of cancer, a major study suggests that patients face a higher cancer danger long after the treatment ends.

Breast cancer risk is 27 per cent higher three years after HRT ends, compared to those who never had the treatment, according to the research.

Earlier studies showed a link between HRT and breast cancer, but it was believed the increased risk disappeared after a few years.

The latest US study by the Women's Health Initiative found that, three years on, hormone treatment increased the risk of developing any form of cancer by 24 per cent.

Professor Marcia Stefanick, one of the study authors, said, ''The continued increased risk of breast cancer clearly plays a role in the increased overall risk of cancer years after stopping long-term oestrogen plus progestin therapy.'' The professor, of Stanford University, concluded there was a 12 per cent increased risk, linked to HRT, of heart disease, invasive breast cancer, stroke, lung blood clots, cancer of the womb lining, bowel cancer, hip fracture and even death, the Daily Mail reported.

Dr Kat Arney, of Cancer Research UK, said, ''This significant study adds to the evidence that women should only take HRT specifically to treat symptoms of the menopause, and for as short a time as possible.'' UNI XC SKB HS1821

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