Colorectal Ca outcomes improved with estrogen therapy for 5 years or less

February 1, 2007

In women who are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, current use of postmenopausal estrogen therapy for 5 years or less is associated with significantly greater colorectal cancer-specific survival and overall survival, according to study findings published in the Dec. 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

In women who are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, current use of postmenopausal estrogen therapy for 5 years or less is associated with significantly greater colorectal cancer-specific survival and overall survival, according to study findings published in the Dec. 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Jennifer A. Chan, MD, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues studied 834 women from the Nurses' Health Study who were diagnosed with colorectal cancer between 1976 and 2000.

The researchers found that women reporting current estrogen therapy before diagnosis had an adjusted hazard ratio of 0.64 for colorectal cancer-specific mortality and 0.74 for overall mortality compared to women reporting no previous estrogen use. But the survival benefit was most pronounced in those who reported current estrogen therapy for 5 years or less and was not significant in those who reported past or more prolonged use.

Chan JA, Meyerhardt JA, Chan AT, et al. Hormone replacement therapy and survival after colorectal cancer diagnosis. J Clin Oncol. 2006;24:5680-5686.