“The option of MHT is an individual decision in terms of quality of life and health priorities as well as personal risk factors such as age, time since menopause and…”.1

Umbrella
What may the Hormone Therapy and Cancer Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Bowel/Colon/Rectum Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer/Cancer of the Cervix
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
  • Hormone Therapy (HT)
  • Lung Cancer
  • Menopausal Hormone Therapy (MHT)
  • Ovarian Cancer/Cancer of the Ovary
  • Uterine/Womb/Endometrial Cancer

Terminology

What can it be important to be clear about with hormone therapy (HT) or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) and cancer information?

I think it can be important to be clear about the type of HT such as estrogen therapy (ET) or estrogen plus progestogen therapy (EPT).

What can it also be important to be clear about with HT, HRT or MHT and cancer information?

I think it can also be important to be clear about the type of cancer (breast, uterus/womb or ovarian).

Risk

If women choose to use HT what is their risk of cancer?

In Does Hormone Replacement Therapy Increase Cancer Risk? Should I Take HRT? the (United Kingdom) Cancer Research UK elaborate on:

“Risk of cancer with HRT depends on many factors. This includes the type of HRT, when people start taking it, how long they take it for, their age and underlying health. The balance of risks and benefits is different for each person. So, talk to your GP about what option might be best for you. They should help you decide according to your needs for treatment. There are other things that affect cancer risk more strongly. For example, you can reduce your cancer risk by keeping a healthy weight, not drinking alcohol and stopping smoking”.2

Who is a GP?

DotS and/or DotC (Depending on the Country) a GP may be a qualified and registered general practitioner, a medical practitioner, a medical doctor or a doctor.

Risks and Benefits

Is HT effective for the treatment of menopausal symptoms?

In Does Hormone Replacement Therapy Increase Cancer Risk? Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) – Risks and Benefits Cancer Research UK also note:

“HRT is still an effective short-term treatment for menopausal symptoms, but has risks as well as benefits”.3

Health Care Provider

If I choose to use HT what are my risks of cancer?

Different women who choose to use HT can have different risks for different cancers. It may therefore be in your best interest to also choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

One of the points of consensus in the Revised Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy: Section B: General Principles Governing the Use of MHT – endorsed by seven menopause-related organizations – published online 20 June 2016, is:

Hormone Therapy and Cancer

  • “The option of MHT is an individual decision in terms of quality of life and health priorities as well as personal risk factors such as age, time since menopause and the risk of VTE, stroke, ischemic heart disease and breast cancer. MHT should not be recommended without a clear indication for its use”.4

In Menopause FAQs: Hormone Therapy for Menopause Symptoms – Q. What is hormone therapy? the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) explain:

“A. …You should discuss your individual risks and preferences with your healthcare team to determine whether hormone therapy or alternatives, including FDA-approved nonhormonal therapies, are right for you”.5

What is FDA?

FDA can be an abbreviation for the (United States) Food and Drug Administration.

In Menopause FAQs: Hormone Therapy for Menopause Symptoms – Q. Who should not use hormone therapy? the NAMS also note:

“A. Hormone therapy is not a good choice for every woman. For some, the risks outweigh the benefits, so careful consideration with a healthcare provider is advised. In general, women who have breast cancer, uterine cancer, unexplained uterine bleeding, liver disease, a history of blood clots, and cardiovascular disease should not use hormone therapy”.6

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Sources

  1. De Villiers, T. J., Hall, J. E., Pinkerton, J. V., Pérez, S. C., Rees, M., Yang, C. and Pierroz, D. D. Revised Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy: Section B: General Principles Governing the Use of MHT. Climacteric, 2016;19:4:314 https://www.imsociety.org/manage/images/pdf/ba6379e868044bec13015ac2b84f2753.pdf Accessed: 04 June 2020
  2. Does Hormone Replacement Therapy Increase Cancer Risk? Should I Take HRT? Last Reviewed: 27 February 2019. Cancer Research UK. https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/hormones-and-cancer/does-hormone-replacement-therapy-increase-cancer-risk#breast Accessed: 04 June 2020
  3. Does Hormone Replacement Therapy Increase Cancer Risk? Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) – Risks and Benefits. Last Reviewed: 27 February 2019. Cancer Research UK. https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/hormones-and-cancer/does-hormone-replacement-therapy-increase-cancer-risk#breast Accessed: 04 June 2020
  4. De Villiers, T. J., Hall, J. E., Pinkerton, J. V., Pérez, S. C., Rees, M., Yang, C. and Pierroz, D. D. Revised Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy: Section B: General Principles Governing the Use of MHT. Climacteric, 2016;19:4:314 https://www.imsociety.org/manage/images/pdf/ba6379e868044bec13015ac2b84f2753.pdf Accessed: 04 June 2020
  5. Menopause FAQs: Hormone Therapy for Menopause Symptoms – Q. What is hormone therapy? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-hormone-therapy-for-menopause-symptoms Accessed: 04 June 2020
  6. Menopause FAQs: Hormone Therapy for Menopause Symptoms – Q. Who should not use hormone therapy? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-hormone-therapy-for-menopause-symptoms Accessed: 04 June 2020
Topic Last Updated: 04 June 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 04 June 2020
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