Hormone-replacement therapy is known to increase a person's chances of developing breast cancer, but until now, most doctors were unsure as to why this was the case. A recent study completed at Michigan State University may finally shed some light on the subject, according to PrivateMDLabs.com
The research focused mainly on two hormones, estrogen and progesterone, which are used in most hormone therapies. The hormones appear to cause the body to produce a protein known as the epidermal growth factor which attaches itself to breast cancer cells and may assist in cellular growth.
For doctors, the news brings hope that designing treatment that blocks these hormones will stop breast cancer cells from gaining a foothold in healthy tissue, and in turn prevent the disease from spreading.
"This may be especially important in premenopausal breast cancer because women produce their own estrogen and progesterone. A combined approach of inhibiting both the hormones and the epidermal growth factor receptor may be beneficial for some women in treating hormone-dependent breast cancer," lead researcher, Sandra Haslam, told the news source.
According to BreastCancer.org, there are over 2.5 million breast cancer survivors living in the United States.