Estrogen Can Also Increase Risk of Ovarian Cancer


Postmenopausal women who use estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) for more than 10 years may be have twice the risk of dying from ovarian cancer as their peers who did not take ERT.

Amazingly, even women who used estrogen for 10 or more years but stopped taking it remained at risk 29 years later. The researchers followed nearly 212,000 women for 14 years. About 22% had used ERT.

Using estrogen for less than 10 years did not seem to increase ovarian cancer risk.

Ovarian cancer is difficult to treat because it is rarely found in its early stages.

According to the American Cancer Society, about 23,000 new cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed annually, and 14,000 women will die of the disease each year.

Ovarian cancer most often strikes women aged 65 and older, and in some cases the disease may have a genetic component. Women with chronic inflammation of the pelvic area–for example, those who have endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease–may also have an increased risk of developing the disease.

The Journal of the American Medical Association March 21, 2001;285:1460-1465



Hate to keep on beating what seems to be a dead horse, but if you haven’t figured it out by now, routine estrogen supplementation for normal menopause is not a wise choice for most women. However, having said that, women who have their ovaries surgically removed usually seem to benefit from natural estrogen.

It is best if the estrogen has two or three of the main estrogens, which are estriol, estradiol, and estrone. This is usually available from most any compounding pharmacist upon prescription. It should also be balanced with progesterone (and testosterone if blood tests call for them) Dr. Greene’s added comment.