Ask the Doctor
October 9, 2012
What are the risks of hormone replacement and breast cancer?

Dear Doc,

To reduce the anticipated effects of menopause I have decided to begin a regimen of hormone replacement (HRT). What risks are there associated with hormone replacement and breast cancer?{{more}}


Dear RES

That is called putting the horse before the cart. Good call!!

Pre-menopause syndrome, peri-menopause syndrome or menopause is a topic that many ladies in their mid-40s find themselves discussing. It therefore is good sense to think of the many ways to eliminate the unwanted symptoms and signs. Menopause is the period that follows the stop of functioning of the ovaries.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is administering replacement hormones that the ovaries are no longer producing. This can be done by taking daily oral pills or by injecting under the skin at longer intervals.

It is important to note that many breast cancers depend on hormones to grow fast and spread. By taking HRT one can actually be fuelling an otherwise small cancer which can spread fast over a short period.

It is therefore most important that before you start hormone replacement therapy (HRT) you get proper breast investigations first and also wager the risk of developing breast cancer whilst on the therapy. If you decide to start HRT, be sure to have regular breast examinations in conjunction with your doctor.

Don’t forget it is not only your breasts you must think of when considering HRT, but remember that your uterus has to be taken into consideration.


SVG Cancer Society,
P.O. Box 709, Kingstown.
Phone: 526-7036