Hormone replacement linked to gallbladder cancer

By Megan Rauscher
june 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A new study from Italy has found a link between
hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in menopause and increased gallbladder
cancer risk.

The findings are the first evidence of such an association, Dr. Silvano
Gallus, of Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri," Milan, told
Reuters Health.

The study participants included 31 women aged 45 to 79 with gallbladder
cancer and 3,702 healthy women matched by age. All were participating in a
12-year study of digestive tract cancers.

In the June 10th International Journal of Cancer, the authors report that
women who had ever used HRT had more than triple the likelihood of
developing gallbladder cancer, and this risk tended to increase with the
length of HRT use.

Because gallbladder cancer is quite rare, and the increased risk is rather
small, the findings have limited implications for individual and public
health, Gallus said, but they do help provide additional information on how
to assess HRT's risks and benefits.

SOURCE: International Journal of Cancer 2002;99:762-763.

Copyright 2002 Reuters Limited.