Vancouver newspaper The Province reported today that Estratest, a combination hormone therapy for severe menopausal symptoms, increases the risk of breast cancer. The article cites a Nurses Health Study, with the report authored by lead researcher Rulla Tamimi.
The newspaper headline blares "Risk goes up 250% with drug". This is not actually true.
The text of the article accurately reports that the risk of developing breast cancer in post-menopausal women using the drug is nearly 2.5 times higher than the baseline risk, an assertion I confirmed in the original article appearing in the Archives of Internal Medicine. This translates into a risk increase of 150%, a still alarming risk increase, but not 250%.
This provides further evidence of the need to be skeptical of what you read, and go to the source material where you can if the information is consequential.
Technorati tags: Media, Estratest, breast cancer, The Province, menopause