Unclear cancer risks of Hormonal Contraception

Literature data no reported significant association of age at menarche, parity, age at first birth, and exogenous hormone use with bladder cancer risk. Findings suggest that menopausal status and age at menopause may play a role in modifying bladder cancer risk among women (128).

For postmenopausal women, early age at menopause (</=45 years)  compared with late age at menopause (>/=50 years) was reported associated with a statistically significant increased risk of bladder cancer (incidence rate ratio =  1.63 ).  The association between age at menopause and bladder cancer risk could be modified by cigarette smoking status (1,129)

Greater   incidence   of   thyroid   cancer   in   women   than   men, particularly evident during the reproductive years, has led to the suggestion that female hormones may increase the risk for this disease.

A study estimating the relative risk of papillary thyroid cancer among users of exogenous hormones among 410 women aged 45 to 64 years,  observed no association of use of ormonal contraceptives (HCs)  or HRT with risk of papillary thyroid cancer.

Among women less than 45 years of age,  risk of papillary thyroid cancer was reduced in women who had ever used HCs (OR = 0.6); beyond the relation with ever-use, there was no further association with specific aspects of exposure such as estrogenic potency,  latency,  recency,  age at first or last use,  or use at the reference date. 

Therfore,  the data do not support the hypothesis that use of exogenous estrogens increases the risk of female thyroid cancer (130). The role of exogenous hormone exposures in the development of meningioma is unclear.

Little evidence of associations between meningioma and exogenous hormone exposures in women was found but did suggest that some hormonal exposures may influence tumor biology in those women who develop meningioma (131).

Rosa Sabatini and Giuseppe Loverro
Dept. Obstetrics and Gynecology,
General Hospital Policlinico-University of Bari, Italy


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