Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Breast Cancer Health Center

Font Size

U.S. Breast Cancer Rates No Longer Declining

Researchers Say an Earlier Decline Due to Reduced Hormone Use Appears to Have Stopped

Results Not Unexpected

"It's not necessarily that surprising," says Stephanie Bernik, MD, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, who reviewed the findings for WebMD.

"Most women stopped taking hormone replacement just for menopausal symptoms," she says. Just 4.2% of white women ages 50-59 took the hormone therapy in 2008, the researchers found.

''With that we expected to see a drop in the rate of breast cancer shortly after that time period," she says. "The thought was it would again stabilize, which I think is what is happening."

Susan Love, MD, president of the Susan Love Research Foundation, agrees there are no surprises."It is likely that the women who were going to stop [hormone therapy] did and that the rates will stabilize at a new lower level as was seen in this study."

She does wonder, however, what is behind the increase in ER-positive cancers and decrease in ER-negative cancers in women in their 40s.

Besides considering the rate of breast cancer, Bernik says, it's important to look at breast cancer survival, which has been increasing. Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, according to the American Cancer Society.

On an individual level, women hoping to reduce breast cancer risk can take a number of steps, Bernik says, including getting mammogram screenings regularly, eating well with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, not smoking, and limiting alcohol intake.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Breast Cancer Overview
From self-exams and biopsies to reconstruction, we’ve got you covered.
Dealing with breast cancer
Get answers to your questions.
woman having mammogram
Experts don’t agree on all fronts, but you can be your own advocate.
woman undergoing breast cancer test
Many women worry. But the truth? Most abnormalities aren’t breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Treatments Improving
Resolved To Quit Smoking
Woman getting mammogram
Screening Tests for Women
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
serious woman
what is your cancer risk
10 Ways to Revitalize Slideshow