Breast cancer remains a risk for women even after they stop taking hormone therapy, researchers said yesterday. A follow-up to a 2002 study showed that women who dropped estrogen and progestin still had a 24% greater breast cancer risk. But their chance of a stroke, heart attack, or blood clot fell to normal levels after halting the therapy, Reuters reports.
The original Women's Health Initiative study of 27,347 women deemed hormone therapy too dangerous to continue; the 2-1/2 year University of North Carolina follow-up reinforced "the importance of regular breast exams and mammograms” after therapy, one expert said. Wyeth, the main hormone therapy maker, said that only older women studied by WHI had a greater cancer risk.