Is hormone replacement therapy a possibility after treatment for breast cancer?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 17, 2016
Jwhoney asked...

I am a five year breast cancer survivor. I was stage 2 with no cancer present in the lymph nodes. I had 4 chemo treatments & 35 radiation treatments. I am interested in using the hormone replacement therapy. Would this be dangerous for me?


Expert Answers

Harvey Gilbert, MD, is a radiation oncologist with more than 35 years of professional experience in the medical field, working with cancer patients. He has edited 14 medical textbooks and coauthored 40 papers in the field of oncology. Dr. Gilbert is the medical director of the Ben Schaffer Cancer Institute in Lodi, California.

HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY AFTER CURATIVE CANCER THERAPY, ESP 5 YEARS SINCE THE TREATMENT, IS A DEFINITE POSSIBILITY, BUT ITS USE MUST BE HIGHLY MONITORED AND USED IN ONLY SELECT SITUATIONS. A FEW ADDITIONAL PIECES OF INFORMAION ARE ALSO HELPFUL, INCLUDING THE ONCO- DX LEVEL, THE FACT OF WHETHER THE TUMOR WAS TRIPLE-NEGATIVE AND THE PRESENCE OF ABSENCE OF HER-2-NEU LEVELS. MANY DOCTORS WILL PERMIT LOW HORMONE REPLACEMENT MEDS IF ALL THE FACTORS ARE FAVORABLE. THESE FACTORS ARE COMPOSED OF THE FOLLOWING: 1)THE DISEASE WAS INITIALLY VERY EARLY AND AS YOU DESCRIBED 2)A 5 YEAR FREEDOM OF DISEASE, SINCE INITIAL DIAGNOSIS, HAS TRANSPIRED. BUT, I UNDERSTAND THAT MANY ONCOLOGISTS REFUSE TO TAKE ANY RISKS OF STIMULAING A CANCER BY ADDING HORMONES, AND IT IS CLEAR THAT THE PATIENT SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN THE DISCUSSION OF THE PROS AND CONS OF DOING THIS. REMEMBER, THAT THESE DECISIONS ARE DECIDED ON A RISK VERSUS REWARD BASIS.