Breast cancer with different prognostic characteristics developing in Danish women using hormone replacement therapy

Br J Cancer. 2004 Aug 16;91(4):644-50. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6601996.


The aim of this study is to investigate the risk of developing prognostic different types of breast cancer in women using hormone replacement therapy (HRT). A total of 10 874 postmenopausal Danish Nurses were followed since 1993. Incident breast cancer cases and histopathological information were retrieved through the National Danish registries. The follow-up ended on 31 December 1999. Breast cancer developed in 244 women, of whom 172 were invasive ductal carcinomas. Compared to never users, current users of HRT had an increased risk of a hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, but a neutral risk of receptor-negative breast cancer, relative risk (RR) 3.29 (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.27-4.77) and RR 0.99 (95% CI: 0.42-2.36), respectively (P for difference=0.013). The risk of being diagnosed with low histological malignancy grade was higher than high malignancy grade with RR 4.13 (95% CI: 2.43-7.01) and RR 2.17 (95% CI: 1.42-3.30), respectively (P=0.063). For breast cancers with other prognostic characteristics, the risk was increased equally for the favourable and non favourable types. Current users of HRT experience a two- to four-fold increased risk of breast cancer with various prognostic characteristics, both the favourable and non favourable types. For receptor status, the risk with HRT was statistically significantly higher for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer compared to receptor-negative breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / etiology*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Female
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause
  • Prognosis
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis