Friday, April 20, 2007

Ovarian Cancer & HRT

Ladies on HRT are 20% more likely to get ovarian cancer. That's the widespread headline. Let's just look at the numbers.

Group 1 The Control Group Not taking HRT
Group 2 The HRT Group Taking HRT

Group 1 22 cases of ovarian cancer per 10,000 women
Group 2 26 cases of ovarian cancer per 10,000 women

Group 1 0.22% incidence of ovarian cancer
Group 2 0.26% incidence of ovarian cancer

Abolute increase of 4 cases per 10,000 women
18% Increased risk in HRT group of developing ovarian cancer
Relative risk ratio 1.18

Epidemiology is not able to prove such a small difference but this study is still published and is sensationalised on every media possible and occupies plenty of prime time TV.

Imagine if the numbers were inaccurate by one in each group.
23 cases in Group 1
25 cases in Group 2

Of course, conveniently forget the fact that thousands of women's lives are made so much better by taking HRT.

Whatever! Bovvered, face bovvered!