Menopausal hormone therapy may increase risk of ovarian cancer

November 9, 2010, American Association for Cancer Research

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 at the Ninth Annual AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, held here Nov. 7-10, 2010.

"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, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford.

Tsilidis and colleagues analyzed the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition, which included 126,920 women, of whom 424 were diagnosed with ovarian cancer over nine years of follow-up.

Although former use of hormone therapy was not associated with increased risk, current use of hormone therapy was linked with a 29 percent increased risk.

Risk levels did not differ by type of hormone therapy (estrogen only vs. plus progestin), specific hormonal constituents, regimens and routes of administration of , or by histology.

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