New results from the Harvard University's Nurses' Health Study on the long-term use of estrogen and its relation to a higher risk of breast cancer gives the clearest picture from research done to date.
Since 1976, when New England Journal of Medicine reported that estrogen use raises breast cancer risk, up to April 2006, when the Women's Health Initiative published a report stating that taking estrogen doesn't raise your risk, many of us have been wondering about the safety of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). The Nurses' Health Study shows no significant increase in risk of breast cancer risk if estrogen is used for up to 20 years, based on their statistics. However, the study also shows that if used longer than 20 years, your risk will increase by 42 percent.
Like many health issues, this news can't be applied to everyone, because we all have different situations. Limits to the safe use of estrogen therapy depends upon: whether your menopause symptoms are due to removal of ovaries, or to chemotherapy; whether you use estrogen alone, or in combination with progestin; your body weight; your personal history of breast cancer, and how long you may have already been taking estrogen.