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Hormone Therapy May Cut Colorectal Cancer Risk
Date:1/8/2009

ad been followed for about 15 years.

The researchers found a 17 percent reduced risk of colorectal cancer among women who had ever used estrogen alone, a 25 percent reduced risk among women currently using estrogen, and a 26 percent reduced risk among those using estrogen for 10 or more years.

Among women taking estrogen plus progestin, there was a 22 percent reduced risk, and a 45 percent reduced risk -- the highest seen -- among those who had stopped taking the combination hormones at least five years earlier.

The researchers also reported a 36 percent drop in risk among women who'd used progestin sequentially -- less than 15 days a month.

It's not clear what the biological mechanisms might be that could contribute to the reduction in risk.

"It appears that estrogens likely have direct or indirect effects on the growth of colonic epithelial cells," Meropol said.

More information

The Women's Health Initiative has more on the health effects of HRT in postmenopausal women.



SOURCES: Neal Meropol, M.D., director, Gastrointestinal Cancer Program, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia; January 2009 Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention


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