Kidney Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Renal Cell Carcinoma Risk After Hysterectomy or Oophorectomy

By: Vanessa A. Carter, BS
Posted: Monday, April 12, 2021

Michael Hendryx, PhD, of the School of Public Health at Indiana University, Bloomington, and colleagues conducted a study that examined the risk of renal cell carcinoma in women who underwent a hysterectomy or oophorectomy and used exogenous estrogen. They discovered that undergoing a hysterectomy tended to increase the risk of renal cell carcinoma by 28%, but the finding was not modified by exogenous estrogen usage. In addition, no significant association was found between oophorectomy and risk of kidney cancer. Their report was published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

The investigators focused on 144,599 postmenopausal women from the Women’s Health Initiative clinical trials. Questionnaires were administered to obtain a self-reported history of hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and renal cell carcinoma diagnosis for each participant and later confirmed by patient medical records and pathology reports. Hypertension, exogenous hormone use, body mass index, smoking status, and race/ethnicity were also obtained.

Of the total, 40.4% of women reported having a hysterectomy, and 46.1% underwent bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. Renal cell carcinoma developed in 583 patients over a mean of 15.9 years. Women who underwent hysterectomy at baseline or during follow-up experienced a significant increase in the risk of renal cell carcinoma (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.28, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.03–1.60). Patients younger than 40 (HR = 1.34, 95% CI = 1.01–1.80) and older than 55 (HR = 1.52, 95% CI = 1.01–2.29) had an increased risk of kidney cancer as well. Oophorectomy was not found to be significantly associated with renal cell carcinoma risk.

For women who were past smokers, did not have hypertension, and were non-Hispanic, the association between renal cell carcinoma risk and hysterectomy was more pronounced but not statistically significant. There was no significant association between a woman’s age at hysterectomy and use of estrogen alone or race/ethnicity.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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