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Menopausal women using hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may have lower odds of developing colon cancer, a study has indicated.
Women who use HRT at the outset of the menopause are 36% less likely to develop colon cancer over a decade than those who never use it, the study in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows.
The survey of nearly 57,000 California teachers found that of 34,433 HRT users, 193 were diagnosed with colon cancer during the study period. There were 151 cases among the 13,778 women who had never used hormone replacement.
HRT with estrogen or a combination of estrogen and progestin has been linked to a lower colon cancer risk, even accounting for age, weight, exercise levels and race. The findings support the theory that estrogen offers some protection against colon cancer. However, it is known that HRT can seriously risk health.
Risk factors for colon cancer include older age, African-American race, obesity and lack of physical activity.
Copyright Press Association 2010