According to new research published in the New England Journal of Medicine British researchers, when women stop using the hormone replacement therapy (HRT) their risk of developing breast cancer is cut in half.

British scientists believe that the use of the therapy which has fallen by 50% over last few years has probably lead to several thousands less cases of breast cancer. Critics say that these conclusions are open to different interpretation.

Over the last five years there has been continued back and forth argument as to whether HRT, in particular the mixed oestrogen and progestin version has an adverse effect on breast cancer development.

Now researchers in California believe that their findings conclusively prove that HRT is linked to increased risk of breast cancer. As the incidence of breast cancer has fallen significantly since its use in the combination form was banned in 2002 by the US government.

According to this new research which featured a study of over 15,000 women who were using the therapy but stopped in 2002. Their breast cancer rates fell very rapidly, in fact in the first 12 months there were nearly 30% less cases.

The following year fall in breast cancer cases had reached 43%. The bottom line is, according to the researchers taking therapy increases your risk of developing breast cancer within five years by fifty percent.

If women stop taking the treatment their risk of breast cancer becomes equivalent to every other woman who has not taken the therapy