Menopausal hormone therapy linked to increased ovarian cancer risk

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Women planning on taking hormone therapy for the treatment of menopausal symptoms should be aware of a possible increased risk for ovarian cancer, according to data presented Nov 9 at the Cancer Prevention Research Conference, Philadelphia.

“This study is consistent with previous recommendations that say if women are going to take hormones they should only take them in the short term,” said Konstantinos Tsilidis, PhD, a cancer researcher at the University of Oxford.

Tsilidis and colleagues analyzed the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, which included 126,920 women. Over the 9-year follow-up period, 424 of them were diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
 
Although former use of hormone therapy was not associated with increased risk, current use of hormone therapy was linked with a 29% increased risk.
 
Risk levels did not differ by:

• Type of hormone therapy (estrogen only vs. estrogen plus progestin),

• Specific hormonal constituents,

• Regimens and routes of administration of hormone therapy,

• Or by ovarian cancer histology (cell type).

Source: American Association for Cancer Research news release Nov 9, 2010