Medicine: Estrogen and Cancer

Menopause is a difficult time of life for many women. Brought on, usually between the ages of 40 and 50, primarily by a decrease in the production of estrogen, a hormone, it is accompanied by irritability, hot flashes, depression, marked physical changes, and the cessation of menstruation. Thus, since the 1950s, when doctors began to prescribe doses of estrogen that alleviated the effects of menopause, the treatment has become increasingly popular with millions of women. Between 1963 and 1973, for example, the dollar value of estrogen prescriptions increased nearly four times. But suspicion has been growing recently that estrogen treatment poses...