March 15, 2014
It's one of the most common forms of cancer for American women, but now a study shows the rate of breast cancer is on the way down faster than anyone expected.
It's the biggest single drop in breast cancer ever recorded, a seven percent decline between 2002 and 2003. That means about 14 thousand fewer women in the U.S. were diagnosed with the disease, almost all 50 to 69 years old.
Many doctors believe the trend is because millions of women have stopped using hormone replacement therapy for postmenopausal symptoms
"A sizeable proportion of breast cancers are fueled by estrogen. And what this report suggests is that when we take away the estrogen breast cancers stop growing, and we stop detecting them, and that's really exciting," states Clifford Hudis of the Kettering Cancer Center.
Researchers said they looked for a similar drop in other cancers, which could have indicated something other than hormones was at work but they didn't find anything.