The key to any useful research is in the numbers that are involved and the scientists at England’s University of Oxford have just broken all records.
Back in 1993, Professor Valerie Beral, in charge of the epidemiology unit, decided that to study hormone replacement treatment in a way that answered all the concerns that women had, it would have to be big.
Her enrollment of well over a million women meant that other issues pertaining to female health issues could also be examined.
So what is now known as the Million Women Study, which was started back in 1996 and lasted for a significant five year period, has lots to offer the medical world.
Most of the million were aged in their fifties, came from a variety of backgrounds and cultures across the country, and were requested to take part in the study on an initial visit for a routine breast examination called a mammogram.
The latter is a standard procedure for women in a certain age category, as part of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).
The data gathered covers a very wide spectrum from lifestyle to hereditary illness along with all the relevant health issues that each woman has experienced.
Beral believes that all the information is very reliable because the women taking part were fully aware of the likely benefits for women kind in general.
What started out as a serious attempt at uncovering the truth behind the endless myths surrounding the female menopause and HRT now seems to be able to offer so much more than Beral could have ever anticipated.