Hormone Therapy Skews Diagnosis

Drugs increase false mammogram results, unnecessary biopsies
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2008 11:55 AM CST
The MAMMOMAT(R) Novation S digital mammography system from Siemens Medical Solutions is designed to optimize clinical workflow for screenings. The system provides a cost-effective solution for facilities...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Women who use hormone replacement therapy to combat menopause symptoms are more likely to get false mammogram results and have unneeded biopsies, new research shows. The UCLA analysis of an earlier study of more than 16,000 women found that 35% of those on hormones received skewed test results, as opposed to 23% of women on a placebo, Reuters reports.

Hormone treatment not only produces more false positives, it interferes with detection of malignancies in mammograms and biopsies, researchers found. "This is really definitive evidence that hormones interfere with breast cancer diagnosis," a researcher told the San Francisco Chronicle. One in 1,000 hormone replacement patients will get breast cancer, one in 10 will get an abnormal mammogram, and one in 25 will have an avoidable biopsy, she said.