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More evidence for HRT link to ovarian cancer
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A large Danish study has found more evidence that women who take - or have ever taken - hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are more likely to develop ovarian cancer than those who have never used it.
Previous studies, including Cancer Research UK's Million Women Study, have suggested a link between HRT use and ovarian cancer. This research, published inthe Journal of the American Medical Association, provides further evidence for this Find out more
Researchers at Copenhagen University found that the link remains, regardless of the On CancerHelp UK
duration of HRT use, the type of HRT taken, the amount of oestrogen received or Elsewhere on our sites
However, their study also confirms that the elevated risk of ovarian cancer starts to decline after a person has stopped taking HRT.
The researchers studied data on all Danish Elsewhere on the web
prescriptions handed out for HRT and on the A total of 909,946 women were included in theanalysis, none of whom had been diagnosedwith hormone-sensitive cancer or had undergone an operation to remove both oftheir ovaries.
Nine per cent of the women were using HRT at the end of the study period, 46 percent of whom had been using it for more than seven years.
Twenty-two per cent of participants had previously used HRT, while 63 per cent hadnot used the therapy at all.
The women taking HRT were found to be 38 per cent more likely to develop ovariancancer compared with those who had never used it.
The researchers noted that the risk of ovarian cancer among people who had takenHRT for an extended period of time was not significantly higher than among thosewho had only been taking it for a short time.
They calculated that for every 8,300 women who take HRT each year, there is likelyto be one extra case of ovarian cancer.
"If this association is causal, use of hormones has resulted in roughly 140 extracases of ovarian cancer in Denmark over the mean follow-up of eight years, i.e., fiveper cent of the ovarian cancers in this study," they wrote.
The study authors suggested that women should take this slightly increased risk ofovarian cancer into account when deciding whether or not to use HRT.
Nell Barrie, science information officer at Cancer Research UK, commented: "Thislarge study adds to the evidence that HRT slightly increases the risk of ovariancancer. In common with other studies in this area, it also shows that when a womanstops taking HRT, her risk of ovarian cancer goes back to normal after a few years.
"Any woman who is worried about HRT and ovarian cancer should speak to her GPwho can discuss the risks and benefits in her individual situation." References
Morch, L., Lokkegaard, E., Andreasen, A., Kruger-Kjaer, S., & Lidegaard, O.
(2009). Hormone Therapy and Ovarian Cancer JAMA: The Journal of theAmerican Medical Association, 302 (3), 298-305 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2009.1052 News provided by Adfero in collaboration with Cancer Research UK. Please notethat all copy is Adfero Ltd and does not reflect the views or opinions of CancerResearch UK unless explicitly stated.
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