Breast cancer through hormone treatments

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Many breast cancer cases would be avoidable: According to the latest studies, too little exercise and hormone replacement therapy promote the risk of brood cancer.
Regular physical activity and the absence of hormone replacement therapy during menopause can significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer in women. According to a study by the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), just under a third of breast cancer cases in older women could be avoided.

Breast cancer is preventable The DKFZ experts found in a comprehensive study that around 30 percent of breast cancer cases in older women could be prevented by not taking hormone replacement therapy and exercising more. As part of their study, the DKFZ scientists also looked closely at other risk factors for breast cancer, such as obesity and alcohol consumption. 9,640 women took part in the so-called “Marie study”, of whom 3,074 had already been diagnosed with breast cancer. The remaining participants served as a control group.

Hormone treatments and little exercise favor breast cancer The study found that 19.4 percent of cancer after the menopause was due to hormone preparations and 12.8 percent due to a lack of physical activity, the scientists explained when they published their Study results in the current issue of the journal "Cancer Epidemiology". The author Karen Steindorf emphasized that if "behavioral changes could be brought about in these two areas", "almost 30 percent of all cases of breast cancer after the menopause could be prevented". The DKFZ experts therefore advise you to avoid hormone replacement therapy if this is not absolutely necessary. In any case, the treatment of menopausal symptoms, which had been widespread until a few years ago, has already declined significantly since scientists found that these increase the risk of cancer. The DKFZ study has now made it clear that, with regard to breast cancer risk, hormone treatments must be given even more importance than, for example, alcohol consumption or being overweight.

Frequent cancer diagnosis Breast cancer According to the Robert Koch Institute (Rki), breast cancer is widespread in Germany and the most common cancer among women with 28% of all new cancers. Every year around 58,000 women in this country contract breast cancer, with the average age of the patients being 64 when diagnosed. All in all, more women across Germany die from breast cancer than from any other cancer. According to estimates by the World Health Organization, there are over a million new cases of illness worldwide every year - around 580,000 of them in the industrialized countries. Factors that cannot be influenced by women can also be the cause of an increased risk of breast cancer. For example, breast cancer in the family is considered a significant risk factor because inherited genetic changes significantly increase the risk of breast cancer. In addition, according to the experts, the risk of breast cancer is also significantly increased in women who had their first menstrual period very early and in women whose menopause started late. Since the risk of breast cancer increases with age, mammography screenings have been offered in Germany for several years, to which women between the ages of 50 and 69 are invited every two years. To date, the benefits of this screening among scientists have been controversial. (fp)

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