Published in Cancer Detection and Prevention 2000; 24(Supplement 1).

Hormone Replacement Therapy in women with a history of Breast Cancer - a case control study

M Ursic-Vrscaj MD PhD, S Bebar MD

Institute of Oncology, Dept Gynecological Oncology, Ljubljana, Slovenia,

AIMS: A case-control study deals with the presumed influence of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on the progression after breast cancer treatment. METHODS: 21 patients with the diagnosis of invasive breast cancer who had HRT after surgical treatment were compared with two patients from the control group with the same diagnosis and without HRT. The control cases were matching with the one of the selected HRT patient as regards the age at the time of the diagnosis, year of the diagnosis, diameter of the tumor, metastatic spread in the axillary lymph nodes, and disease-free interval until applying HRT. The data were analyzed by odds ratio (OR) calculation at a confidence interval of 95%. RESULTS: HRT was started on average 62 months after diagnosis, and lasted for 28 months on average. All of the 21 patients used oestradiol as HRT. Relapse was observed in 4 patients of the HRT group; of these, 1 patient had the carcinoma of the contralateral breast. In the control group, the relapse was observed in 5 patients; 1 of these 5 patients had the carcinoma of the contralateral breast. In the HRT group, there were no death cases among the patients with confirmed relapse, while in the control group 1 patient with the confirmed relapse died. The estimated risk of the breast cancer relapse in HRT users, receiving HRT for less than 24 months, was 0.65. CONCLUSIONS: The present observations suggest that less than 24 months of HRT does not appear to have a pronounced adverse effect on cancer outcome.

KEY WORDS: cancer, breast cancer, menopause, hormone replacement therapy.

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Paper presented at the International Symposium on Impact of Biotechnology on Cancer Diagnostic & Prognostic Indicators; Geneva, Switzerland; October 28 - 31, 2000; in the section on prognostic markers.