Research conducted Dr. Dezheng Huo of the University of Chicago illustrates that the sharp drop in U.S. breast cancer cases in recent years was limited to Caucasian women. The decline maybe linked to Caucasian women’s greater use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in the late 90’s than other ethnic groups. Many women terminated using hormone replacement therapy after a large study suggested in 2002 that the combination of estrogen and progestin used to treat menopause symptoms raised the risk of breast cancer and heart disease.
According to the American Cancer Society, the overall incidence of female breast cancer fell 3.9 percent a year from 2001 through 2004. The bulk of the decline has been principally among women older than 50 with estrogen-receptor positive cancer.
Rates of change in rates of breast cancer by ethnic are as follows (by the end of 2003):
Caucasians had 2.4 percent decline per quarter;
African Americans had a 0.7 percent increase per quarter;
American Indians and Alaskan Natives had 0.14 percent decline per quarter; and
Asian Americans by 0.46 percent decline per quarter.
This study offers additional evidence that HRT (estrogen therapy) influences the rates of breast cancer in women.