ENDO: Early Menopause Tied to Heightened Risk for Breast, Ovarian Cancer

Primary ovarian insufficiency also tied to higher risk for breast cancer
ovarian cancer ovary
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

TUESDAY, June 11, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Women with early menopause have a two times greater risk for breast cancer and a nearly four times higher risk for ovarian cancer, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, held from June 1 to 4 in Boston.

Kristina L. Allen-Brady, Ph.D., M.P.H., from University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and colleagues identified 613 women with primary ovarian insufficiency (POI; ages 40 years and younger) and 165 with early menopause (age older than 40 years and younger than 45 years). Women with POI and their relatives were linked to genealogy information using the Utah Population Database and to cancer diagnoses (breast, ovarian, endometrial, colon, testicular, and prostate) using the Utah Cancer Registry.

The researchers found that the risk for breast cancer was increased in women with POI (odds ratio [OR], 1.89), and there was a borderline increase in ovarian cancer. Probands were 36.5 years when diagnosed with POI and 59.5 years (range, 43 to 80 years) at the time of breast cancer diagnosis. Only two women took hormone replacement therapy at older than 50 years. When combining data with women with early menopause, both breast cancer risk and ovarian cancer were elevated (OR, 3.38). Among second-degree relatives of women with POI and three generations of family members, there was a significantly increased risk for breast and colon cancer. For prostate cancer, risk was significantly increased in first-, second-, and third-degree relatives.

"Our data suggest common risk factors for POI and reproductive or hormonally influenced cancers," the authors write.

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