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Review: use of hormone replacement therapy in the past 5 years is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer

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Question Is hormone replacement therapy (HRT) associated with an increased risk of breast cancer?

Data sources

Studies were identified from review articles, literature searches, and colleagues.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they included ≥100 women with breast cancer and if information was obtained on the use of HRT and reproductive and menopausal history.

Data extraction

Data were collected from the investigators for individual women on their use of HRT and hormonal contraceptives, sociodemographic factors, family history of breast cancer, height, weight, age at menarche, reproductive history, gynaecological surgery, menopausal status, age at menopause, and tumour spread for those who had breast cancer.

Main results

51 studies from 21 countries involving 52 705 women with invasive breast cancer and 108 411 women without breast cancer were included (81% of eligible studies). Meta-analyses were stratified by study, study centre, age at diagnosis, time since menopause, body …

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  • Source of funding: Imperial Cancer Research Fund.

  • For article reprint: Professor V Beral, Secretariat, ICRF Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Gibson Building, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford 0X2 6HE, UK. Fax +44 (0)1865 310545.

  • A modified version of this abstract appears in ACP Journal Club 1998 May–Jun.