New evidence suggests that Hormone Replacement Therapy may decrease a woman’s risk of developing colorectal cancer, even though evidence suggests that the hormones may actually increase a woman’s risk of stroke, heart disease and breast cancer. The results of the study were published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology.

HRT is a system of medical treatment most often used for surgically menopausal, perimenopausal and to a lesser extent postmenopausal women. While long-term hormone therapy is no longer recommended for postmenopausal women,  it is still sometimes prescribed on a short-term basis to help women with menopausal symptoms like hot flashes , quality cancer medicines on .

Dr. Millie D. Long of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her colleagues matched 443 women diagnosed between 2001 and 2006 with distal large bowel cancer (meaning tumors at the far end of the colon and the rectum) to 405 healthy control women. The average age of the study participants was around 63.

Long’s team found that women who had ever used HRT were at half the risk of this type of colon cancer compared to women who’d never used hormone replacement, and the longer a woman was on HRT, the lower the risk.

Of course, colorectal cancer can strike anyone, regardless of whether there may be some level of protection due to a treatment like HTR. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a timely screening schedule are still the best ways to lower your risks and ensure that cancer is caught early enough to be Preventable, Treatable and Beatable.

Read the original article on AsiaOne Health.

Learn more about Hormone Replacement Therapy and read the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada’s guidelines  here. As always, share your questions or concerns with your physician or oncologist.