A new study conducted by a group of American researchers has found that prolonged use of any type of hormones to ease the symptoms of menopause can increase the risk of breast cancer.
While taking pills that combine estrogen and progestin is often used in treating menopause symptoms, recent studies have shown that such treatments increase the risk of breast cancer. Taking estrogen pills was assumed to be safe among women who no longer have a uterus.
However researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston used data from Nurse's Health Study involving more than 60,000 women and found that prolonged use of estrogen pills for more than 10 years could also increase the risk of breast cancer by as much as 88 percent.
"There's a continued increase in risk with longer durations of use and there does not appear to be a plateau. For estrogen alone, there is more safety data for someone who wants to take it for five or six years", lead researcher Dr Wendy Chen said.