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ovarian cancer and hormone replacement therapy ( HRT )

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There is evidence from observational studies that there is a small increased risk of ovarian cancer in hysterectomised women with long-term use of oestrogen-only hormone replacement therapy (HRT) (1,2). The risks of ovarian cancer with combined HRT are unknown (2).

When considering the cumulative risk of ovarian cancer over 15 or 20 years (2).

ovarian cancer age of woman

50-69 years old

expected cases

9 cases per 1000 non-HRT users

5 years HRT use resulted in 1 (+/-1) (oestrogen-only) extra cases of ovarian cancer

10 years HRT use resulted in 3 (+/-2) (oestrogen-only) extra cases of ovarian cancer


  1. Current Problems in Pharmacovigilance (2002), 28, 11-12.
  2. Current Problems in Pharmacovigilance (2003), 29, 1-3.