How Hormone Therapies Increase Ovarian Cancer Risk

A recent study conducted at the University of Oxford, UK, has revealed that hormone replacement therapy, HRT, increases the risk of ovarian cancer, for every 1,000 women taking such drugs at anytime from age 55.

The study looked at data from 52 separate studies including 21,500 women with ovarian cancer, before establishing that there is a link.

HRT drugs are used to alleviate symptoms of menopause, which for some women, can be so severe.

HRT medication treatment program is to replace female hormones that the body no longer produces after menopause.

Medical charities added that the findings were robust, but said the risk did fall after HRT stops.

However, the drugs have also been found to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and bowel cancers. But the impact on ovarian cancer has been debated, particularly for those taking the drug for less than five years.

Richard Peto, a Professor said, “It’s a risk, about a million women in this country have HRT and 1,000 will get ovarian cancer from it.”

He specified there would be one extra death for every 1,700 women taking hormone replacement therapy, the risks would be reduced for those taking it for a shorter period of time.

“If it were me and I had really bad symptoms, I’d worry more about those than any possible risk,” Peto added.

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