Here’s another reason to think twice about taking Hormone replacement therapy, at least the kind that combines estrogen and progestin. New research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology finds a link between this type of HRT and lung cancer.
Results from the study showed a 50% increased risk of lung cancer in women who underwent a combined estrogen and progestin treatment for 10 years or longer. Those who only underwent estrogen therapy showed no extra risk. The scientists found that the longer women used HRT, the greater their chance of developing lung cancer and the more advanced the stage of the disease at the time of diagnosis.
They adjusted the data were for smoking, age, and other outside risks for lung cancer, but they don’t know why the risks are so much higher with the combined HRT.
Women have been prescribed estrogen with or without progestin in hormone replacement therapy for years to relieve some of the symptoms of menopause, but recent studies have linked the combined therapy to heart disease, stroke, breast cancer and dementia.
In the last few years, HRT use has declined and it is now only recommended for short-term treatment in some cases. However, these results underline that many women may still be at risk. Health Canada continues to monitor the risks associated with HRT, which is available only by prescription.