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Menopause. 2001 Jul-Aug;8(4):245-51.

The effect of the duration of progestin use on the occurrence of endometrial cancer in postmenopausal women.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Clinical Research Center, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia, USA. archerdf@evms.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Women who have ever used estrogen replacement therapy (ERT), even at a low dose, have an increased incidence of endometrial cancer. The addition of a progestin to ERT reduces the incidence of endometrial cancer. The duration of progestin administration is more important than the dose.

DESIGN:

A MEDLINE review of the literature was performed using the search terms endometrial cancer, epidemiology, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

RESULTS:

Women who have ever used ERT have an increased incidence of endometrial cancer. The use of HRT for more than 5 years, with a progestin use of <10 days per cycle, has a relative risk = 1.8. Continuous combined HRT, or sequential or cyclic HRT with >10 days of progestin per cycle, appears to decrease the incidence of endometrial cancer to that found in nonusers of HRT.

CONCLUSIONS:

The use of HRT in postmenopausal women with a uterus reduces the incidence of endometrial cancer. The duration of progestin administration should be 14 days or more per cycle based on recent epidemiologic data.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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