Women with menopausal symptoms after breast cancer should generally rely on non-hormonal approaches, according to an Endocrine Society review.
A society committee writing in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism points to the limited evidence available to guide therapy in these patients. Based on their review, they offer the following:
Rather than using hormone therapy, treatment should start with improving lifestyle.
Clinicians should tailor treatments based on symptom severity and the degree of bother.
Cognitive behavioral therapies have been used «with varying results.»
For vasomotor symptoms, non-hormonal drug therapies, such as some antidepressants, have been effective against hot flashes.
Patients with refractory symptoms have been given hormonal therapy, but a conference on the topic concluded that it should be used only with caution and with the patient’s fully informed consent.
The review concludes: «Therapy must be individualized based on each woman’s needs and goals for therapy.»
By Joe Elia
Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH