40% Increased Risk of Ovarian Cancer With HRT
HRT use has been linked to breast cancer and heart disease, but new studies indicate that there could also be an additional risk for ovarian cancer at menopause.
Many women are reconsidering HRT due to the health risks and doctors no longer want women on HRT for extended periods with 5 years being suggested as the maximum. Bioidentical hormones do not carry the health risks of conventional HRT and progesterone in particular is protective of various cancers including breast and endometrial.
One million women in the UK are on HRT and generally take it for between two and five years and currently there are 7,000 cases of ovarian cancer each year. Women have a one in 50 chance of developing ovarian cancer in their lifetime and taking HRT for five years is now linked to the incidence of ovarian cancer.
New study confirms association of HRT and ovarian cancer
The research was carried out by the University of Oxford and published in the Lancet. Lead researcher Sir Richard Peto said claims there was no risk for short courses of HRT “simply isn’t true”. He told the BBC News website:
“It’s a risk, about a million women in this country have HRT and 1,000 will get ovarian cancer from it.”
The latest study, which looked at data from 52 separate studies including 21,500 women with ovarian cancer, and scientists say it proves there is a link.
The findings from the study indicated that women who use HRT for just a few years after menopause are about 40 percent more likely to develop ovarian cancer than women who have never been on HRT. The result was the same whether the HRT was oestrogen only or a combined form of oestrogen and synthetic progestin.
This review didn’t show cause and effect but did suggest an association between hormone replacement therapy and ovarian cancer so if you have any concerns, and are still taking HRT, then consider switching to bioidentical natural HRT to minimise your risk.