Breast Cancer Rate Decline in US May Have Stopped
The decline of breast cancer rates amongst women in the US may have stalled, reports Health Day.
Beginning in 2002, women began taking hormone replacement therapy at lower rates, leading to the decline in breast cancer rates. However, research shows that the decline stopped at about 2003.
Researchers at the American Cancer Society and US National Cancer Institute analyzed data of breast cancer patients between 2002 and 2007. They found that there was a sharp decline, about 7 percent, in breast cancer rates between 2002 and 2003, but that the rate remained steady after 2003 until 2007.
"As more women stop using HRT, and less women start it after reaching menopause, it would be expected that the incidence [of breast cancer] would plateau at some point," said expert Dr. Sharon M. Rosenbaum-Smith, a breast cancer specialist and surgeon at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Medical Center.
"This study is promising in that it has not shown an increase in the incidence of breast cancer, and the stopping of HRT use can certainly be a contributing factor to this plateau."
The breast cancer report also shows that the downward trend in cancer rates only appears amongst white women, not Black and Hispanic women.
The report was released in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.