The incidence of breast cancer has declined 7% in the past few years. The big question is why?
The most likely explanation is declining use of estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) by women. Researchers have shown that the decline in breast cancer rates started as soon as it was publicly admitted that ERT had been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer. When this long held knowledge was made public many women immediately went off their hormone replacement therapies.
Even though this is strong evidence that ERT was directly increasing breast cancer rates other researchers are trying to argue against the evidence. One claim was made that the decrease in breast cancer rates may be due to better mammography techniques. Actually, if better mammography techniques were being implemented then the incidence of breast cancer would be going up instead of down. Standard mammography systems can miss malignant tumors especially if they are small. Utilizing more advanced mammography techniques would allow for the detection of smaller tumors that would otherwise be missed. Because more tumors would be detected the incidence of breast cancer would actually go up.
The increased risk of breast cancer from ERT has been well known for decades by the medical community. It has only been in the past few years that this increased risk has been widely reported in the media though. Other adverse effects of ERT including hypothyroidism, increased risk of heart attack and strokes from blood clots, weight gain, depression and other adverse effects still do not get the media’s attention.
Premarin is the most widely used drug for ERT. The name Premarin comes from its source, which is pregnant mare’s urine (PREgnant MARe’s urINe). Premarin is on average 3,000 times stronger than the estrogens produced by the human body. It is well known that human estrogens may cause or promote breast cancers in women as well as other disorders. So why would the medical establishment try to convince women that something 3,000 times stronger than their own estrogens is essentially safe over the last three decades?
And why would the medical establishment tell women to take Premarin to reduce the risk of heart disease when estrogen is well known to cause blood clots? Blood clots are a common cause of heart attacks and strokes.
The only real benefit of ERT that I see is the protective effect on bones. Estrogens do not promote bone growth. Instead they can help prevent bone loss after natural or surgically induced, menopause. It requires much more than estrogen to prevent osteoporosis though and there are safer alternatives. For example, the mineral boron has been shown in clinical studies to prevent bone loss in the absence of ERT at a daily dosage of 3mg.