The hormone replacement therapy (HRT) debate has been intense for over a decade now. But, finally, new research has made the HRT cancer link clear.

Now the hormone replacement therapy research showed that there ‘s a specific connection between hormone replacement therapy and the breast cancer.

The breast cancer affects 1 out of every 8 American women in their lifetime and, next to skin cancer, it’s the most common cancer for women. Breast cancer is also the second most deadly, after lung cancer.

The cancer research teams found that as more and more women became aware of the HRT cancer link, more and more women gave up using hormone replacement therapy in favor of alternative treatments for menopause symptoms.

And, as women gave up HRT, breast cancer rates started dropping.

In 2003, breast cancer statistics went down by about 10%. Researchers were surprised, since they had never seen such a dramatic drop in just one year. And the rates are still going down – particularly for women over 50, who appear to be more sensitive to HRT.

Dr. Peter Ravdin of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, reporting to the 29th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, said he’s convinced the big drop in breast cancer is related to the big decrease in HRT use as a menopause treatment.

The author of the second study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Dr. Christina Clarke of the Northern California Cancer Center in Fremont, agrees.

Hormone therapy use dropped by 68% between 2001 and 2003, and shortly thereafter we saw breast cancer rates drop by 10% to 11%. This drop was sustained in 2004, which tells us that the decline wasn’t a fluke.”

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