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Int J Cancer. 2011 Apr 1;128(7):1644-51. doi: 10.1002/ijc.25762. Epub 2011 Jan 12.

Endometrial cancer associated with various forms of postmenopausal hormone therapy: a case control study.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.


This study evaluates the effect of different modes of estradiol-progestagen therapy (EPT) regimens on the postmenopausal endometrial cancer risk in Finland. Women diagnosed with endometrial cancer in 1995-2007 at the age of 50-80 years were identified from the Finnish Cancer Registry (N = 7,261). For each case, three age-matched controls were retrieved from the Finnish Population Register. The use of EPT since 1994 was ascertained from the national Medical Reimbursement Register. Odds ratios (ORs) for different EPT regimens were calculated with conditional logistic regression analysis, adjusted for parity and ages at the deliveries. For use of <5 years, the OR for sequential EPT was 0.67 (95% confidence interval 0.52-0.86), for continuous EPT 0.45 (0.27-0.73), and for estradiol plus levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device system (LNG-IUS) 0.39 (0.17-0.88). A decreased risk persisted for the use of continuous EPT and estradiol plus LNG-IUS of up to 10 years. The use of long-cycle EPT showed a tendency toward an elevated risk both for exposure of <5 years (1.40; 0.82-2.38) and for estimated use of >5 years (1.63; 1.12-2.38). For an estimated exposure of >10 years, the risk for endometrial cancer was elevated for both users of long-cycle EPT (2.95; 2.40-3.62) and sequential EPT (1.38; 1.15-1.66). Norethisterone acetate and medroxyprogesterone acetate as parts of EPT did not differ in their endometrial cancer risk. The use of tibolone showed no endometrial risk. The use of sequential and long-cycle EPT is associated with an increased risk of endometrial cancer, whereas the use of continuous EPT or estradiol plus LNG-IUS shows a decreased risk.

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