Hormone Therapy Nearly Doubles Lung Cancer Risks

Latest findings could signal the end of treatment
By Mat Probasco,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2009 2:10 AM CDT
Carcinoid tumor L. hilum   (©Pulmonary Pathology)
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(Newser) – Hormone replacement therapy nearly doubles women's risk of death from lung cancer, new research has discovered. The hormone therapy as women hit menopause was once nearly standard treatment. But the latest news—combined with other findings that the therapy increases risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke—will likely relegate HRT to the medical trash bin, reports the Los Angeles Times. Lung cancer now kills more women than breast, ovarian, and colon cancers combined.

Researchers prematurely stopped a 16,000-women hormone replacement study when early results showed the therapy was doing more harm than good. Hormone therapy poses breast cancer risks because estrogen attaches to receptors on tumor tissue, accelerating tumor growth. Studies have shown lung tissue also has estrogen receptors, where the hormone promotes blood vessel growth and nourishes tumors.