Hormones replacement therapy (HRT) can be a very delicate situation when dealing with women and menopause, since the U.S. government study in 2002 discovered estrogen and progestin had increased risk of heart attack, stroke and breast cancer, many women have stopped using HRT. New studies now reveal estrogen during menopause will not increase risk of breast cancer in women under the age of 40.

The study conducted by Dr. Kala Visvanathan, a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, revealed her reasoning for the investigation was to determine whether removing one's ovaries will reduce the risk of breast cancer, when taking estrogen.

The research consisted of 22,000 women, who were diagnosed with breast cancer and others who had not. It compared women who were using estrogen and had their uterus removed and experienced oophorectomy, which is the removal of one's ovaries, as well as a 14 percent increase in being diagnosed with breast cancer to women who never used HRT and experienced natural stages of menopause.

The results demonstrated that in women who were under the age of 40 and experienced oophorectomy there was a 24 percent reduction in the risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. On average, the National Cancer Institute reports, 124 women out of 100,000 women will develop breast cancer, but the 24 percent reduction brings the number from 124 to 94.

Women who undergo oophorectomy before the age of 40 have a smaller chance of getting breast cancer, regardless if they opted for HRT or not.

However, in women of the age of 50, who had their ovaries and uterus removed was correlated to a 26 percent increase in being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Hazel Nichols, a researcher at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, who also worked on the study reaffirms there is a necessity for researchers to determine the risks and benefits of HRT for each woman.

"I think what we've learned is that hormones shouldn't be prescribed to prevent chronic disease among healthy women, but there may be a role for them in treating severe symptoms [of menopause], and what we need to do now is to best understand what the safest way to do that is," Nichols said to Reuters.

The study was published in Obstetrics and Gynecology.