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Does HRT increase breast cancer risk?

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment option for menopause symptoms. However, many women are concerned it may increase their risk of developing breast cancer.

However, the NHS reassures women that using HRT for five years causes a slight increase in risk, from around 1% to 1.6%.

The longer you take HRT, the more your breast cancer risk increases. However, that additional risk returns to normal within five years of discontinuing HRT.

The choice of HRT medication also affects risk, with combined HRT increasing breast cancer risk more than oestrogen-only HRT.

If you have concerns about breast cancer, such as close family members having had the condition, discuss this with your doctor when considering menopause treatments.

If you do take HRT, make sure you attend NHS breast screening appointments when you are invited.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on May 18, 2016

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