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Breast cancer can return after 15 years: study

Women who are successfully treated for early stage breast cancer are still at risk of it returning, even 15 years after they finish hormone therapy, according to a new study.

In the large study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers analyzed data from more than 62,000 women diagnosed with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, the most common type.

About 2 out of every 3 breast cancers are hormone-receptor positive, according to the American Cancer Society. All of the participants were prescribed hormone therapy drugs for five years, a typical treatment for this type of cancer that helps to suppress tumors.

Although the women didn’t have cancer during the five-year time period, the researchers found that after they stopped taking the drugs, about 11,000 women had cancer recur at another site on their body over the next 15 years.

- Source: Newsweek