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Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, there was a sharp decline in the number of women who received positive breast cancer tests. However, the rate of disease now seems to be leveling off, according to a new study from the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.
Between 2002 and 2003, breast cancer rates dropped by 7 percent among white women. However, after reviewing data from National Cancer Institute surveys, the team found that this decline did not continue past 2003 and that rates of the disease have been mostly level since then.
The researchers said that the decline from 2002 to 2003 corresponds to the timing of the Women's Health Initiative, which began spreading the word of the dangers of hormone therapy in women going through menopause.
Prior to the findings of this initiative, many women going through this period of life took hormones to regulate their symptoms. This has been shown to dramatically increase the risk of breast cancer.
However, the leveling off of breast cancer rates may indicate that the decrease in disease caused by stopping hormone therapy may have bottomed out.
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