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Editor's Correspondence
July 11, 2011

Increased Risk of Renal Cell Carcinoma After Hysterectomy: Possible Causes and Implications

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: NCH Healthcare Group, Bonita Springs, Florida (Dr Goldstein); and Medical Service, Comando Brigata Alpina “Julia,” Udine, Italy (Dr Mascitelli).

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(13):1214-1215. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.302

The provocative observational study of Altman and colleagues1 demonstrates that hysterectomy for benign indications was associated with a significant long-term risk of renal cell carcinoma, and this was particularly prominent among the women undergoing the surgery before the age of 44 years; they exhibited a 2-fold risk. Notably, the risk was less for the women undergoing vaginal hysterectomy compared with the women undergoing total abdominal hysterectomy. Although the mechanisms by which hysterectomy increases subsequent renal cell carcinoma risk are unclear, we believe the data presented suggest that the relationship might be catecholamine and iron related.

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