Re: "Hormones and Breast Cancer" December 26, 2006
The article “Hormones and Breast Cancer” in the Tuesday, December 26, 2006 New York Times contains inaccuracies and fails to address the numerous inconsistencies of the link between estrogens and breast cancers. Estrogen alone (without progestin) does NOT increase breast cancer at all and showed a significant drop in a subset of healthy women in the Women’s Health Initiative. Estrogen plus progestin did show a small increased risk only after 5 years (less than 1 per thousand per year), no increase in estrogen receptor positive cancers and no increase in early cancers, suggesting pre-existing cancers only were affected. As a physician who tries uses these drugs responsibly telling patients that the breast cancer risk is 23 to 100% increased does not give an accurate picture of the small and but documented absolute risk on hormones reported in numerous studies. Millions of tax payer dollars have been spent for the last 25 years trying to find a cure the targeting estrogen and so far we have failed. We need to find the guilty culprit.
Michelle P Warren, M.D.
Medical Director, Center for Menopause Hormonal Disorders and Women’s Health
Columbia University Medical Center