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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Am I at risk of Breast Cancer?

    Had a hysterectomy 17 years ago - age 34 - been on HRT - since then. Now 51. Dr. stopped HRT November 2011 suddenly. Still suffering terrible hot flushes, both day and night.

    1. As I have been on HRT for such a long time am I at risk of breast cancer?

    2. If I go back on HRT will I have an increased risk of breast cancer?

    3. Should I even be considering HRT due to the high level of risk?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Jodie Krantz

    Physiotherapist, Pilates Instructor

    As a Physiotherapist for many years, I have a special interest in managing chronic and recurrent pain using exercise. Our small team of Physiotherapists are … View Profile

    Hi there.

    I am a Pilates Physiotherapist and I am NOT an medical doctor, nor an expert on Breast Cancer or HRT. However I have a strong interest in breast cancer as my mother, sister, first cousin and auntie all suffered from it. Being an Australian woman you have a risk of approximately one in nine of developing breast cancer at some stage in your life, most likely following menopause. However deaths from cardio-vascular disease still outnumber deaths from breast cancer every year in Australia.

    From the research I have done and the advice I have received from Breast Phycians my understanding is:

    1. there is no conclusive evidence that oestrogen or progesterone given prior to menopause increasest the risk of breast cancer - research in this area is contradictory and continuing
    2. there is however a small but significant increase in the risk of breast cancer associated wih supplementation with both hormones (especially oestrogen) following menopause
    3. oestrogen supplementation post-menopause is associated with significantly lower rates of cardio-vascular disease, so it seems the hormone is not ‘all bad ’
    4. oestrgen supplementation is normally stongly discouraged by breast physicians if you have a personal history of breast cancer, especially if the cancer was found to be oestrogen receptive
    To discuss whether or not you should resume the HRT it would be good to have a consultation with a Gynaecologist. Your medical history and family history and severity of your current symptoms need to be taken into account so you can weigh up the pros and cons. Suddenly stopping HRT certainly sounds unnecessarily brutal!

    I hope this helps and I suggest you visit your GP to explain your HRT withdrawal symptoms and request a referral to a Gynaecologist..

    Kind regards
    Jodie Krantz

  • Vasintha

    HealthShare Member

    Dear jodie

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question.

    Much appreciated. I most certainly will be seeing our family doctor and following on your advice.

    May 2013 bring you only the best in life

    Best regards

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