Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is twice as common among men compared with women, and hormonal factors have been suggested to partially explain this difference. There is currently little evidence on the roles of reproductive and hormonal risk factors in RCC aetiology.
Materials & Methods
We investigated associations of age at menarche and age at menopause, pregnancy-related factors, hysterectomy and ovariectomy and exogenous hormone use with RCC risk among 298,042 women in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.
During 15 years of follow-up, 438 RCC cases were identified. Parous women had higher rates of RCC compared with nulliparous women (HR = 1.71, 95% CI 1.18, 2.46), and women who were older at age of first pregnancy had lower rates of RCC (30 years + vs. <20 years HR = 0.53, 95% CI 0.34, 0.82). Additionally, we identified a positive association for hysterectomy (HR = 1.43 95% CI 1.09, 1.86) and bilateral ovariectomy (HR = 1.67, 95% CI 1.13, 2.47), but not unilateral ovariectomy (HR = 0.99, 95% CI 0.61, 1.62) with RCC risk. No clear associations were found for age at menarche, age at menopause or exogenous hormone use.
Our results suggest that parity and reproductive organ surgeries may play a role in RCC aetiology.