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"Study finds another risk of HRT: Ovarian cancer"

Globe and Mail

Source: Globe and Mail

Published: 19 Apr 2022

Category: Harm Stories

Rating: (4 stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

TORONTO - A massive British study has uncovered another risk associated with taking hormone replacement therapy - the once ubiquitous menopause treatment appears to increase a woman's chances of developing ovarian cancer.
The study, released online Thursday by the journal The Lancet, coincides with the publication of even further evidence of a link between breast cancer and hormone replacement therapy, published Thursday in the New England of Medicine.
Combined, they underscore the message the Canadian Cancer Society and others have been preaching about HRT since a large U.S. trial was stopped in mid-2002 when researchers found hormone therapy increased the risk of heart attack, stroke and breast cancer in post-menopausal women....

The original article can be found at:

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 5 of 7
Novelty of harm Satisfactory (?)
Benefit to harm ratio Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Harms Satisfactory (?)
Number of people affected by harm Satisfactory (?)
Stratification of patients with regard to harm Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Treatment options Not Applicable
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This article comes at a time when increasing research is being released about the harms related to hormone replacement therapy. The main question that the study sought to answer was this: what are the risks of HRT in terms of ovarian cancer? The article answers this question quite clearly and notes that HRT users are "more likely to develop ovarian cancer and die from it than women who never used hormone therapy." It was useful to see the absolute numbers (2.6 cases per 1,000 women using HRT over five years, compared to 2.2 per 1,000 women who never used it) and the five year risk presented in a way that was not alarmist. "Over a period of five years, one additional woman out of 2,500 HRT users would be diagnosed with the often fatal disease, and one in 3,300 would die."
We don't ultimately learn how many people might be affected by the harm, though the rate of HRT prescribing has been dropping for years.
The article doesn't mention other treatment options but it may not be fair to expect this type of information in a story of this nature since it was a study of a particular type of treatment not a comparison between different treatments

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