CLEVELAND, Ohio (March 1, 2023) — Controversies surrounding hormone therapy (HT) and its benefits and risks have dominated the field of women’s health for more than 2 decades. A large new study demonstrates that, despite some common misconceptions, HT does not increase a woman’s risk of developing lung cancer and may actually help reduce the risk. Study results are published online today at Menopausethe Journal of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
Lung cancer remains one of the most common malignancies and the leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. After breast cancer, it is the most common cancer in women, with its incidence increasing in women in recent decades. Although smoking remains the number one risk factor for developing lung cancer, an estimated 20% to 50% of affected women are non-smokers.
Because the characteristics of lung cancer in women differ from those in men, there has been speculation in the medical field that such sex-related differences could be explained by hormonal factors. Several previous studies have suggested that an increase in sex steroid hormones may influence cell biology and contribute to the development and progression of lung cancer in women through binding with hormone receptors. Other studies have produced conflicting results, suggesting that women have a lower risk of lung cancer during their reproductive years.
Study results have been inconsistent regarding the association between HT and the risk of developing lung cancer, with some suggesting that HT leads to a higher risk and others claiming that it results in a lower risk. This latest study, based on data from over 38,000 postmenopausal women, sought to investigate the association between HT and lung cancer risk based on dosage. After 16 years of follow-up, the study researchers concluded that HT is not associated with an increased risk of lung cancer in postmenopausal women. Indeed, it was found that with a higher cumulative dosage of TH or a duration of therapy greater than 5 years, the risk of developing lung cancer was lower.
The results of the study were published in the article “The Association Between Hormone Therapy and Risk of Lung Cancer in Postmenopausal Women: A 16-Year Population-Based Study across the Country.”
“This population-based study showed that the use of hormone therapy was not associated with lung cancer risk and, in addition, may be related to a lower risk of lung cancer. This is reassuring for women weighing the cumulative risks and benefits of hormone therapy for managing menopausal symptoms or preventing osteoporosis,” says Dr. Stephanie Faubion, medical director of the NAMS.
For more information about menopause and healthy aging, visit www.menopause.org.
Founded in 1989, the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) is North America’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the health and quality of life of all women through midlife and beyond through an understanding of menopause and healthy aging. Its multidisciplinary membership of 2,000 leaders in the field – including experts in the clinical and basic sciences of medicine, nursing, sociology, psychology, nutrition, anthropology, epidemiology, pharmacy and education – makes NAMS uniquely qualified to serve as the definitive resource for professionals. health professionals and the public for accurate and unbiased information about menopause and healthy aging. To learn more about NAMS, visit www.menopause.org.
The association between hormone therapy and lung cancer risk in postmenopausal women: a 16-year nationwide population-based study
Article Publication Date
March 1, 2023
No conflicts reported.