NBC Nightly News (12/13, story 7, 0:30, Holt) reported, "There's new research out tonight that provides more evidence of a direct link between hormone replacement and breast cancer."
The AP (12/14, Marchione) reported, "Taking menopause hormones for five years doubles the risk for breast cancer," according to an analysis presented Saturday at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Dr. Rowan Chlebowski, of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues, examined study results from the "Women's Health Initiative, which tested estrogen and progestin pills that doctors long believed would prevent heart disease, bone loss, and many other problems in women after menopause." Some 16,608 women "were randomly assigned to take either Wyeth Pharmaceuticals' Prempro -- estrogen and progestin -- or" placebo. According to the AP, this "was halted when researchers saw a 26 percent higher risk of breast cancer in those on Prempro." After tracking "15,387 of these women through July 2005, and plotting breast cancer cases as they occurred over time," investigators found that "risk rose with the start of use, peaked when the study ended and fell as nearly all hormone users stopped taking their pills. At the peak, the breast cancer risk for pill takers was twice that of the others."