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Hormone Replacement After Breast Cancer: Is It Safe?


Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology: March 2011 - Volume 54 - Issue 1 - p 173–179
doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e3182083cbb
Breast Cancer: Pursuing State of the Art Care

The use of hormone therapy for climacteric symptoms in patients with breast cancer has become a significant and important point of discussion due in part to the improved survival from this disease in recent years. There is a theoretic risk that exogenous hormones will stimulate the growth of microscopic disease and lead to decreased survival and increased recurrence. In addition, 2 large studies have shown that there is an association between hormone therapy and breast cancer risk in women without an earlier history of breast cancer. Other studies suggest that estrogen alone may have a superior safety profile than estrogen and progesterone in combination. Hormone therapy could be justified for improvement of quality of life when other options have failed and the patient is informed of the risks.

Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio

Correspondence: Pedro F. Escobar, MD, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Ob/Gyn, The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH. e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.