What is the role of hormone therapy in the etiology of ovarian cancer?

Updated: Aug 10, 2020
  • Author: Andrew E Green, MD; Chief Editor: Yukio Sonoda, MD  more...
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A nationwide prospective cohort study over 10 years that included all Danish women aged 50-79 years concluded that risk for ovarian cancer is increased with hormone therapy, regardless of duration of use, formulation, estrogen dose, regimen, progestin type, and administration route. [19] Nearly 1 million women without hormone-sensitive cancer or bilateral oophorectomy were followed. In an average of 8 years of follow-up, 3068 ovarian cancers were detected, of which 2681 were epithelial cancers.

Current users of hormones had incidence rate ratios for all ovarian cancers of 1.38 (95% confidence interval [CI], 11.26-1.51) compared with women who never took hormone therapy. Risk declined as years since last hormone use increased. Incidence rates in current and never users of hormones were 0.52 and 0.40 per 1000 years, respectively. This translates to approximately one extra ovarian cancer for approximately 8300 women taking hormone therapy each year.

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