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Estrogen Safety: Studies raise cancer, blood clot questions

Three studies this week brought mixed news about the risks of estrogen-only hormone replacement therapy to ameliorate menopausal symptoms.

Data from a massive study called the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) show that estrogen therapy taken for 7 years doesn't increase a woman's risk of breast cancer. However, a separate study of black women finds a greater risk of breast cancer in women who took the hormone for 10 or more years than in women who had no hormone therapy.

What's more, another analysis of the WHI data reveals that women taking estrogen were more likely to develop blood clots than were women getting dummy pills.

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