Background: In the majority of studies, long term, recent use of hormone replacement therapy has been associated with an increased risk of breast carcinoma. However, little attention has been paid to the possibility that the magnitude of this association may vary according to the histologic type of breast carcinoma.
Methods: In this population-based case-control study, interviews were conducted with 537 female residents of King County, Washington who were ages 50-64 years and who had been diagnosed with primary breast carcinoma between January 1, 1988 and June 30, 1990. Interviews with 492 randomly selected King County women without a history of breast carcinoma served as a basis for comparison. Analyses were performed separately for women with lobular and for those with ductal tumors.
Results: Compared with nonusers of menopausal hormones, those who currently were using combined estrogen and progestin hormone replacement therapy (CHRT) and had done so for at least 6 months had an elevated risk of lobular breast carcinoma (odds ratio [OR] = 2.6; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.1-5.8), but no change in their risk of ductal breast carcinoma was noted (OR = 0.7; 95% CI, 0.5-1. 1). The OR associated with current use of unopposed estrogen for at least 6 months was 1.5 (95% CI, 0.5-3.9) for lobular tumors and 0.7 (95% CI, 0.4-1.1) for ductal tumors. Similar results were found when cases of invasive tumor were analyzed separately.
Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that CHRT use increases the risk of lobular, but not ductal, breast carcinoma in middle-aged women.
Copyright 2000 American Cancer Society.