“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?

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?

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 from HRT depends on many different things. This includes the type of HRT, when people start taking it, how long they take it for, age, and general health. And the benefits of taking HRT will vary from person to person too.

Everyone’s different, so talk to your GP about your options”.2

Who is a GP?

In Does Hormone Replacement Therapy Increase Cancer Risk? Should I Take HRT? Cancer Research UK also remind us:

“It’s also important to remember that there are other things that affect cancer risk more than HRT. For example, you can reduce your cancer risk by stopping smoking, keeping a healthy weight, and drinking less alcohol”.3 Hormone Therapy and Cancer

Risks and Benefits

Is HT effective for the treatment of menopausal symptoms?

In Risks and Benefits of MHT: Key Points the Australasian Menopause Society elaborate on:

  • “For the majority of symptomatic women, the benefits of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) outweigh the risks”.4

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”.5

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”.6

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”.7

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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/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/global-consensus-hrt-2016-06.pdf Accessed: 11 June 2021
  2. Does Hormone Replacement Therapy Increase Cancer Risk? Should I Take HRT? Last Reviewed: 09 March 2021. Cancer Research UK. https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/hormones-and-cancer/does-hormone-replacement-therapy-increase-cancer-risk#breast Accessed: 11 June 2021
  3. Does Hormone Replacement Therapy Increase Cancer Risk? Should I Take HRT? Last Reviewed: 09 March 2021. Cancer Research UK. https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/hormones-and-cancer/does-hormone-replacement-therapy-increase-cancer-risk#breast Accessed: 11 June 2021
  4. Risks and Benefits of MHT: Key Points. Content Updated January 2021. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/information-sheets/799-risks-and-benefits-of-mht-hrt Accessed: 11 June 2021
  5. 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/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/global-consensus-hrt-2016-06.pdf Accessed: 11 June 2021
  6. 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: 11 June 2021
  7. 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: 11 June 2021

Topic Last Updated: 11 June 2021 – Topic Last Reviewed: 11 June 2021
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