Women are believed to have a greater risk of developing ovarian cancer if they are taking or have ever taken hormone replacement therapy (HRT). A Danish study states that such women may have a greater likelihood of developing this cancer, than the one’s who have never taken HRT.
It seems that earlier studies on the topic have established a link between HRT use and the onset of ovarian cancer. And now, the presently conducted study is noted to have provided more evidence strengthening this alleged association.
The experts from the Copenhagen University have noted a connection between ovarian cancer and HRT; irrespective of the period of HRT usage, or the type, amount or medium of dosage. In addition to this, they were also believed to have claimed that after a person stops taking HRT; their risk of developing ovarian cancer seems to subside.
In order to gain a better perspective on this issue, the experts assessed the data of Danish women between the age group of 50 to 79. It seems that none of these women were diagnosed with hormone-sensitive cancer or had undergone a surgery for the removal of their ovaries.
Evidently, by the end of the study it was observed that around 9% of these subjects were using HRT, where more than 45% of them were noted to be using them for more than 7 years. In contrast to this, 22% of the subjects reported of having used HRT; while around 63% denied having ever used this therapy.
“This large study adds to the evidence that HRT slightly increases the risk of ovarian cancer. In common with other studies in this area, it also shows that when a woman stops taking HRT, her risk of ovarian cancer goes back to normal after a few years,” says Nell Barrie, science information officer at Cancer Research UK. “Any woman who is worried about HRT and ovarian cancer should speak to her GP who can discuss the risks and benefits in her individual situation.”
The study investigators observed that the women taking HRT seemed to have a 38% relatively greater risk of developing this cancer, than the one’s who had never taken it.
They explain, “If this association is causal, use of hormones has resulted in roughly 140 extra cases of ovarian cancer in Denmark over the mean follow-up of eight years, i.e., five per cent of the ovarian cancers in this study.”
In addition to this, another criterion that was observed was that the women taking HRT for a longer period of time didn’t seem to have a significantly greater risk of cancer, as compared to those who used HRT for a short period of time.
Keeping all these pointers in mind, the experts have notably suggested women to take these factors into consideration when deciding to use or not to use HRT. They have suggested these women to even take into consideration the slightly increased risk of developing ovarian cancer, when deciding upon the use of HRT.
These findings have been presented in the Journal of the American Medical Association.