Hysterectomy May Increase Kidney Cancer Risks

Hysterectomies performed for reasons other than cancer might increase a woman’s risk for <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/diseases">renal (kidney cell carcinoma, reported Reuters, citing a Swedish study. According to lead researcher, Dr. Daniel Altman, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, “We’re looking at a potentially preventable cause,” according to Reuters.

Prior retrospective studies suggested a link between renal cell carcinoma and hysterectomy, but the new study utilized a more rigorous method, following over 800,000 women who did and did not undergo hysterectomies in the past three decades to determine who was developing renal cancer, a relatively rare cancer, said Reuters.

The research found that per 100,000 women, about 17 annual cancer cases were seen in women who had their uterus removed, versus 13 women in those who did not, wrote Reuters. The study appears in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

After making adjustments for so-called “potential confounding variables,” such as what year the hysterectomy was conducted, the county of residence in which the women lived, and if women had or had not given birth, said Reuters, those women without a uterus were 50 percent likelier to develop cancer of the renal cells.

In those women who underwent the surgery prior to turning 44—and, it seems this surgery is on the rise in younger women—there was a significant risk, more than double, of developing kidney cancer, when compared to women whose uterus was in tact, noted Reuters. The risk was seen as most significant within the first decade following surgery, declining with time, said Reuters.

Similar, but less intense results, were seen for risks of bladder cancer, noted Reuters.

“Further efforts are needed to identify groups of women at high risk of renal cell carcinoma in the aftermath of hysterectomy,” said the study authors, quoted MedScape.

The team could not explain the reason for their findings, saying that “We’re left to speculating,” quoted Reuters. “Perhaps when you remove the organ, you alter the architecture and change the support and flow from the kidney to the bladder. But we’re not sure,” the team added.

Dr. Altman noted that women should not stop having hysterectomies saying, “If you look at the millions of the procedures performed across the industrialized world each year, then the (additional risk) may be significant,” quoted Reuters. “But for an individual, the risk is quite low.”

According to Reuters, hysterectomy is the most popular gynecologic procedure, but cancer is not present in most of the cases in which hysterectomy is called for. The kidney cancer involved, the most commonly diagnosed of the kidney cancers, occurs in the lining of the proximal convoluted tubule.

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