Combined HRT may raise breast cancer risk, study finds

Women taking combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are 2.7 times more likely to develop breast cancer than non-users, and the risk may increase with longer use, a study published in the British Journal of Cancer has found.

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The researchers, from the Institute of Cancer Research in London, said that previous studies may have substantially underestimated the risk of breast cancer from combined HRT, as they did not update information about a woman’s HRT use or analyse accurately to allow for her age at menopause.

The new research was part of the Breast Cancer Now Generations Study, which is following more than 100 000 women for 40 years to investigate the causes of breast cancer.

Paracetamol is no more likely to exacerbate asthma in children than ibuprofen, shows study

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Using paracetamol to treat fever or pain is no more likely than ibuprofen to exacerbate asthma in children with mild persistent asthma, a randomised trial has shown (in the New England Journal of Medicine).

Observational data have previously linked paracetamol and asthma symptoms to decreased lung function, so some doctors have recommended avoiding the drug in children with asthma. But data from randomised trials have been limited.

NICE recommends dropping two drugs from Cancer Drugs Fund

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Two drugs currently provided under the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF) should cease to be available because they are not cost effective, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has concluded.

Everolimus for breast cancer (Afinitor, Novartis) and ibrutinib for mantle cell lymphoma (Imbruvica, Janssen) do not meet the grade, says NICE in draft guidance now open for consultation.Nice_logo

Oily fish intake reduces risk of diabetic retinopathy, study shows

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Older patients with type 2 diabetes who consume dietary omega 3 fatty acids equivalent to at least two weekly servings of oily fish have a significantly lower risk of sight threatening diabetic retinopathy than those who eat less, a prospective observational study has shown.1

Diabetic retinopathy is a major cause of vision loss in older people. The pathogenesis is not fully understood, but inflammation, oxidative stress, and microvascular changes play important roles…