Decline in breast cancer incidence due to removal of promoter: combination estrogen plus progestin

Breast Cancer Res. 2007;9(4):108. doi: 10.1186/bcr1736.


Combination estrogen plus progestin causes breast cancer. In light of this causal relation, the rapid decline in breast cancer incidence noted in 2003, following an earlier and slower reduction in incidence from 1999, raises important issues regarding the proportion of this decline that may be due to a reduction in the use of combination therapy by postmenopausal women. The context of these national trends is reviewed and the strong link to the use of hormone therapy is discussed, after noting that screening cannot explain any substantial component of these trends. The rapid decrease in incidence, most evident among women aged 50 to 69 years and in estrogen receptor positive tumors, that parallels the decline in combination hormone use is consistent with a promoter effect for estrogen plus progestins.

Publication types

  • Comment
  • Editorial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Estrogens / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Progestins / adverse effects*


  • Estrogens
  • Progestins