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April 11, 2001

Association Between Changes in Hormone Replacement Therapy and Breast Density

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;285(14):1839-1840. doi:10.1001/jama.285.14.1839

To the Editor: Dr Rutter and colleagues1 studied the relationship between initiating, continuing, and discontinuing hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and mammographic breast density. They found that HRT may increase breast density for some but not all women and that increases in breast density may make mammograms more difficult to interpret.

But this study does not assess whether this difficulty translates into poorer prognosis or clinically missed cancers. Previous studies have shown that there is no effect of HRT on mammographic sensitivity or breast cancer detection.2,3 Others4 have found no significant differences in the numbers of mammographically detected cancers and false-negative mammograms between HRT users and nonusers.

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