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Study Says Hormone Therapy Increases Risk of Ovarian Cancer

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medicine Association, women who use hormone therapy after menopause may be at a higher risk of ovarian cancer, and the risk remains elevated for up to two years after women stop taking estrogen. What’s more, even a relatively short duration of hormone therapy, less than four years, is associated with a 30 to 40 percent higher risk of ovarian cancer in current users, researchers said.

Hormone therapy has been linked to health hazards in the past. Notably, part of a long- term government run study known as the Women’s Health Initiative was stopped early in 2002 because women who took hormones for many years had an increased risk of breast cancer, stroke, heart disease, and blood clots in their lungs and legs. Since then, the use of hormones, once offered to millions of older women to treat menopause symptoms and potentially protect against heart disease, has dropped dramatically. Breast cancer rates have also dropped, most likely because of decline long- term hormone use, experts say.

“Women currently taking hormones seem to reduce their risk of ovarian cancer by quitting hormone use,” says study author Linda Steinrud Morch of Rigshospitalet- Copenhagen University, in Denmark. “The risk warrants consideration when deciding whether to use hormone therapy, particularly if a woman has a special predisposition for ovarian cancer. She should consider not taking hormones.”

For more information see: .cancer.hrt/index.html

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