Hormone replacement therapy and improved survival among postmenopausal women diagnosed with colon cancer (USA)

Martha L. Slattery, Kristin Anderson, Wade Samowitz, Sandra L. Edwards, Karen Curtin, Bette Caan, John D. Potter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Objectives: Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) has been inversely associated with colon cancer incidence in several epidemiologic studies. In this study we used data from a population-based incident case-control study of colon cancer to evaluate the role of HRT use in survival after diagnosis with colon cancer. Methods: Data from 815 postmenopausal women living in Utah, California, and Minnesota diagnosed between 1 September 1991 and 30 September 1994 were used to examine associations between HRT and survival. Results: After adjusting for age at time of diagnosis, stage of disease at time of diagnosis, study center, and body mass index (BMI), we observed that women who had ever used HRT had a 30% lesser probability of dying of any cause and a 40% lower probability of dying from colon cancer specifically during the follow-up period. Further evaluation by years of HRT use showed that those who had used HRT for 4 or more years had the lowest risk of dying of colon cancer (hazard rate ratio 0.5, 95% confidence interval 0.3-0.9). Evaluation of other lifestyle variables with HRT use did not show significant confounding or effect modification. Conclusions: These findings suggest that HRT use may improve short-term survival after diagnosis with colon cancer; there is no suggestion that HRT use is detrimental to survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-473
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the contributions of Khe-Ni Ma for data analyses, and Judy Punko and Ashley Coates for assisting in obtaining survival information. This work was supported through grants CA48998 to Dr. Slattery and NCI Contract N01-CN-67000 to the Utah Cancer Registry.


  • Colon cancer
  • Disease stage
  • Hormone replacement therapy


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