Hormone therapy in relation to survival from large bowel cancer


Epidemiologic studies of hormone therapy (HT) and colorectal cancer incidence consistently show an inverse association; however, few studies have considered prediagnostic use of HT on mortality among colorectal cancer patients. We evaluated the relationship of HT and survival among a population-based cohort of women with large bowel cancer. Cases (n = 1,297) were newly diagnosed with invasive cancer of the colon or rectum, aged 40–74 years at diagnosis, who were identified by Wisconsin’s statewide registry (1988–1991; 1997–2001) for two case–control studies. Information on HT use and other colorectal cancer risk factors was collected by standardized interview. There were 507 deaths (274 of these attributable to colorectal cancer) over 8.4 years of follow-up through December 2005. Hormone use was not associated with colorectal cancer mortality (adjusted hazard rate ratio = 1.09, confidence interval = 0.81–1.47). Colorectal cancer specific mortality was not associated with HT when considered separately by preparation type. Stage did not modify this relationship. Long-term HT was weakly positively associated with increased mortality after diagnosis of proximal colon, but not distal colon cancer. Because we detected no differences in survival among users of HT compared to non-users, the results suggest that HT use may affect only the incidence of some colorectal tumors.

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Financial support: This work was supported in part by the Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation and National Institute of Health grant CA47147.

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Correspondence to Polly A. Newcomb.

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Newcomb, P.A., Chia, V.M., Hampton, J.M. et al. Hormone therapy in relation to survival from large bowel cancer. Cancer Causes Control 20, 409–416 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10552-008-9255-1

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  • Hormone therapy
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Mortality