Background/aim: High-dose oestrogen treatment has been used to reduce growth in tall adolescent girls. The long-term safety with regard to cancer has not been clarified. Our aim was to study if this growth reduction therapy affects cancer risk later in life.
Methods: A cohort study of 369 (172 treated, 197 untreated) Swedish women who in 1973-1993 were assessed for tall adolescent stature was designed. Data were collected from university hospital records, patient questionnaires, and the Swedish Cancer Register.
Results: Risks are presented as odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals comparing treated to untreated subjects. In treated subjects, the overall OR for having a tumour (malignant or non-malignant) was 1.7 (0.8-3.8). The ORs were 2.3 (0.4-12.8) for breast tumours, 0.8 (0.2-2.6) for gynaecological tumours, and 6.1 (1.04-∞) for melanoma. When limiting to malignant tumours, the crude ORs were of similar magnitude.
Conclusion: The OR for any melanoma was higher in treated than in untreated women, suggesting an increased risk of melanoma associated with high-dose oestrogen treatment during adolescence. Although the risk estimates were increased for overall tumours, breast tumours, malignant gynaecological tumours, and malignant melanoma, these associations were not statistically significant. Our results need to be verified in a larger cohort.
© 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.