Breast cancer decline stalls
The rate at which women are being diagnosed with breast cancer has stopped falling, according to a new analysis of federal data released Monday.
The analysis of data collected by the National Cancer Institute found no significant change in the overall incidence rate for breast cancer among white women between 2003 and 2007, according to the report by researchers at the NCI and the American Cancer Society released online by the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention. That's after a sharp drop of 7 percent between 2002 and 2003.
The new analysis did not examine the reasons for the change in the trend. But the researchers speculated that it might be due to the fallout from the dramatic decline in hormone use by women going through menopause. Hormone use plummeted after the federally funded Women's Health Initiative stunned women and doctors in July 2002 by reporting that the risks of hormone use, including an increased risk for breast cancer, outweighed its benefits. That was followed by the drop in breast cancer.
While hormone use has continued to fall since 2003, the decrease after 2003 may not have been big enough to continue to affect the incidence rate, the researchers wrote. Another factor may be increased sensitivity of mammography, which may be picking up more cancers that previously went undiagnosed in part because hormone use increases breast density, making breast cancer harder to detect with mammography.
Posted by: HealingNews | February 28, 2011 5:31 PM | Report abuse
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