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June 9, 1999

Hormone Replacement Therapy and Risk of Breast Cancer

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.

JAMA. 1999;281(22):2140-2141. doi:10.1001/jama.281.22.2140

Does estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increase the risk of breast cancer? This question is still being asked today, even though more than 5 decades of experience with this therapy and scores of epidemiological studies addressing the issue are available. This important question refuses to go away, despite a lack of direct evidence supporting a causal association. It is a question that remains timely because of societal concerns about breast cancer and the large numbers of women who currently use HRT. And, it is a question that continues to be addressed in the medical literature and lay media because of the commonly held belief that estrogens in some way must cause breast cancer.

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