Estrogen has been postulated as a contributor for lung cancer development and progression. We reviewed the current knowledge about the expression and prognostic implications of the estrogen receptors (ER) in lung cancer, the effect and signaling pathway of estrogen on lung cancer, the hormone replacement therapy and lung cancer risk and survival, the mechanistic relationship between the ER and the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and the relevant clinical trials combining the ER antagonist and the EGFR antagonist, to investigate the role of estrogen in lung cancer. Estrogen and its receptor have the potential to become a prognosticator and a therapeutic target in lung cancer. On the other hand, tobacco smoking aggravates the effect of estrogen and endocrine disruptive chemicals from the environment targeting ER may well contribute to the lung carcinogenesis. They have gradually become important issues in the course of preventive medicine.
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