According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be linked to lower survival rates in women with lung cancer.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center who collected data from 500 women diagnosed with lung cancer between January 1994 and December 1999.
The research team looked at the women’s ages, developmental stage of cancer, history of cancer, smoking history, family history of cancer, HRT use, treatment and survival rates.
86% of the study group were smokers at one time and 17% had used HRT for at least six consecutive weeks at some point before being diagnosed with lung cancer.
According to the study, women who had undergone HRT had an average survival rate of 39 months, compared with an average of 79 months for women who had no HRT history.
When a patient reported a history of both HRT and smoking, survival rates declined even further.
Women who had undergone HRT were also diagnosed with lung cancer at an earlier age. The average age of diagnosis for women with HRT history was 63, while the average age for women with no history of HRT use was 68.
In a related commentary by Jill Siegfried, of the University of Pittsburgh, stated: “Here is another possible negative effect of estrogens,” adding, “So unless post-menopausal symptoms are severe, and can’t be treated by other medications, HRT should be avoided.” (Reuters 1/26).