Post-menopausal women who have used hormone replacement therapy (HRT) appear to be at an increased risk of ovarian cancer, according to researchers.
What is more, this seems to hold true regardless of the duration of use, the formulation, estrogen dose, regimen or route of administration.
Danish scientists from Copenhangen University analyzed data from 909,946 women aged 50 through 79 years and concentrated on their pattern of HRT use.
After eight years, a total of 3,068 women were diagnosed with ovarian cancers. However, current users had a 38 percent higher risk of the developing the disease compared with those who never used HRT.
The relative risk of epithelial ovarian cancer, a sub-category of the disease, among current HRT users was 44 percent higher, while previous users had a 15 percent increased risk compared with women who had never used HRT.
The study also found that the risk of both types of cancer did not significantly increase with longer duration of HRT, however it did decline over time after the therapy was discontinued.
In light of such studies, some women have opted for alternative approaches to relieving menopausal symptoms including diet, exercise and nutritional supplements as well as massages and reflexology treatments.