U.S. Breast Cancer Incidence Rates Stabilized After 2003

Rates stopped declining after sharp drop that coincided with decrease in hormone therapy use

TUESDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer incidence rates among non-Hispanic (NH) white women in the United States stabilized between 2003 and 2007 after a sharp decline between 2002 and 2003 that followed a drop in the use of postmenopausal hormone therapy, according to a study published online Feb. 28 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Carol DeSantis, M.P.H., of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues reviewed data on female invasive breast cancer incidence obtained from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results 12 registries for 2000 to 2007. They used National Health Interview Survey data to calculate the prevalence of postmenopausal hormone use.

The investigators found no significant change in the overall incidence rate for breast cancer among NH white women between 2003 and 2007. However, incidence rates increased 2.7 percent per year among women with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer aged 40 to 49 years, and decreased for women with ER-negative breast cancer aged 40 to 49 and 60 to 69 years. There were also no significant changes in incidence rates among NH black and Hispanic women during the period. Hormone therapy use decreased between 2005 and 2008 in all groups; these declines were smaller, however, compared to those between 2000 and 2005.

"In summary, the sharp decline in breast cancer incidence rates that occurred from 2002 to 2003 among NH white women did not continue through 2007," the authors write. "Furthermore, no significant changes in overall breast cancer incidence rates occurred during 2003 to 2007 among NH white, NH black, and Hispanic women of any age group."

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