Women who use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) during menopause may be less at risk of developing colon cancer, a new study suggests.
Women who began using HRT at the outset of the menopause were 36% less likely to develop colon cancer over the next decade than those who did not use it, a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology said.
HRT, used with either oestrogen alone or a combination of oestrogen and progestin, was linked to a lower colon cancer risk even when the researchers accounted for age, weight, exercise levels and race.
The beneficial effect of HRT was stronger among women who had had a first-degree relative diagnosed with colon cancer and HRT use was linked to a 55% lower risk of the disease vs non-use, study said.
Out of 34,433 HRT users, 193 were diagnosed with colon cancer compared with 151 cases among the 13,778 women who had never used hormone replacement.