Some Hormone Replacement Regimens Increase Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Risk

Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI)

By Elda Hauschildt

Women who take some forms of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) could face an increase in risk of epithelial ovarian cancer.

A nation-wide, case-control study from Sweden indicates women who have ever taken estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) or HRT with sequentially added progestins (HRTsp) might be at increased risk of epithelial ovarian cancer. "By contrast, no change was observed in women who had used estrogens continuously supplemented by progestins (HRTcp)," Swedish researchers note.

They point out that while their data indicate an elevated risk with ERT and HRTsp, they were not able to confirm a causal association: "We advocate cautious interpretation of our results and do not recommend changes to current HRT prescribing practices. For women to make an informed decision on whether or not to use HRT, all beneficial and adverse hormonal aspects concerning osteoporosis, coronary heart disease, venous thrombosis and other health effects must be addressed."

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