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As seen on HysterSisters.com

Q: I’m 50 years old and had a hysterectomy 2 years ago for uterine cancer. My doctor removed my ovaries. I’ve been experiencing ongoing and disruptive menopause symptoms but haven’t used any hormone therapy out of fear that estrogen would cause me to be at higher risk for cancer. Is estrogen an option for me?

Dr. Warren's Answer: Premenopausal women with gynecologic cancer often need both ovaries and uterus removed at the time of surgical treatment and will experience an earlier menopause.

The symptoms of menopause are due to declining estrogen levels and may include: hot flashes, night sweats, decreased libido, vaginal dryness, and memory changes. 

Going on estrogen supplementation can help with many of these symptoms, but it is controversial in women with a history of endometrial cancer.  Endometrial cancer is  an estrogen-linked cancer, and the fear of taking estrogen is that it may increase the risk of recurrence and promote cancer cell growth.  Typically, it is not advocated for women with a history of uterine cancer.

It is best to discuss hormone treatment with your gynecologic oncologist so that treatment may be individualized and all risks and benefits understood.  Currently, there is not enough research to know a women’s risk of taking HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) after treatment for endometrial cancer.  When it is used for women with a history of early stage cancer, it is not started for several months after initial treatment of cancer.

There are lifestyle changes and holistic treatments that may help with symptoms.  These include: regular exercise, yoga, meditation, and vaginal lubricants. Other short-term treatments may be needed for insomnia. 

 


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I had my hysterectomy and ovaries removed last year and I’m not taking HRT - as I’m 50 years old. I’ve noticed that fine lines have begun to appear on my face and the texture of my skin has changed. Is this something that is related to my HRT? Menop

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