Breast Cancer Rates Decline In Affluent Women Video

According to a national study by the Harvard School of Public Health, the only significant drop in breast cancer rates happened among white women over 50 in affluent U.S. counties. The women had an important third factor. They had the kind of tumo...
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Breast Cancer Rates Decline In Affluent Women Cathy Marshall: New research shows breast cancer rates are declining and there’s evidence race and economic background make a difference along with the reduction in the use of hormone replacement therapy. According to the National Study, the only significant drop in breast cancer rates happened among white women over 50 in affluent US Counties and the women shared an important third factor. They had the kind of tumor and estrogen rich environment will nourish. Breast Cancer rates went down as much as 10% in this group. The estrogen connection is linked to hormone replacement therapy widely used before the women’s health initiative study came out in 2002. The study warned hormone therapy increase the risk of breast cancer. As a group, white women in affluent areas were more likely to use hormone replacement therapy because they were getting frequent medical care and could afford the treatment. After the results of the 2002 study, doctors changed the way they prescribed hormone therapy and the number of breast cancer cases dropped. Doctor Bill Ekland at Pacific Breast Center says the study makes sense but leaves some questions unanswered. Bill Ekland: We do know that if you look at women who are taking estrogen replacement therapy, you’re going to find more breast cancers but is it because new cancers are forming or that it’s allowing tiny cancers that would be very slow growing and may perhaps never get to a size that they make a difference to grow enough so that they’re detected and diagnosed. We don’t have the answer to that Cathy Marshall: The study from the Harvard School of Public Health involved 350,000 cases of breast cancer between 1992 and 2005. Researchers looked at race, economics, age and diagnosis of the patient. One researcher on the study points out a silver lining saying the fact that minorities and low income women use hormone therapy less may have spared them from an increase in breast cancer rates. Doctor Ekland notes a difference in Breast Cancer rates has previously the link to race. Bill Ekland: We do know that white women have a higher incidence of breast cancer than black women. But also black women have more aggressive cancers and a poor prognosis with breast cancer. So, there are racial factors in the incidence of breast cancer as well as in the outcome of breast cancers and that’s independent of hormone we use. Cathy Marshall: With this latest study and others in mind, Doctor Ekland has advised about hormone replacement therapy. He says its role is to get women through menopause. Bill Ekland: And the truth is all the things that we thought we would be doing to help women by putting them on estrogen after they get through menopause have not turned out that way. It does not reduce the incidence of heart attacks. It does not reduce the incidence of strokes and it does contribute to the breast cancer problem. So, there are many reasons not to take estrogen. Cathy Marshall: Doctor Ekland says the risk from hormone therapy is in prolonged used. Some women needed to get through menopause for a few months. Others may need it for a few years but once you’re through menopause, it should not be continued because of the strong link to breast cancer when he says it’s clearly demonstrated in this latest research from the Harvard School of Public Health.

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