Swedish studies link hormone use to higher breast cancer risk

J Natl Cancer Inst. 1989 Aug 16;81(16):1210-1. doi: 10.1093/jnci/81.16.1210.


PIP: 2 more reports on heightened risk of breast cancer in certain subsets of oral contraceptive and menopausal estrogen-progestin users have appeared from Sweden, in addition to 3 studies published in early 1989 that prompted the U.S. F.D.A. to re-evaluate its warning labels on pill packages inserts. The 1st study on 10 cases among 23,244 women from Uppsala found that women who took hormone replacement therapy briefly for menopausal symptoms had a 10% increased risk of breast cancer, while those taking hormones for 9 years or more had a 70% higher risk. The report estimated that women using combined estrogen-progestins for 6 years or more had a 4.4-fold risk of breast cancer appearing in the pre- menopausal age group. Women who used pills 5 or more years before the age of 25 had a 5.3-fold risk of breast cancer. Those using for 8 or more years before the 1st pregnancy had a 2.0-fold risk. These data analyzed 174 pre-menopausal women diagnosed with breast cancer in the early 1980s, and included many women who began pills in the 1960s. The author noted that we have no studies yet on the modern, lower-dose oral contraceptive pills.

Publication types

  • News

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Breast Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal / adverse effects*
  • Estrogens / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menopause / drug effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Sweden


  • Contraceptives, Oral, Hormonal
  • Estrogens