Statement on

HRT and Breast Cancer

Information about consultations for women who have had breast cancer

Dr Louise Newson leaning in chair

Personal choice and informed consent are fundamental in the care for women experiencing menopausal symptoms. In recent years we have developed a range of educational materials that help women make informed decisions about their care.

Moreover, we believe that holistic care is important. We discuss and prescribe non-hormonal as well as hormonal medications and also help women improve their quality of life and achieve their desired health through lifestyle interventions and education.

Women with a history of breast cancer require specialist input, and our clinicians are all menopause specialists who undertake great care to understand the type of breast cancer they have had, what treatment they have received in the past and the nature and severity of their menopausal symptoms.

When deciding with a patient with previous breast cancer whether to advise HRT or not, it is also vital to quantify their risk of recurrence without HRT. If the risk of recurrence is low but their menopausal symptoms are very severe, then overall, any risks associated with HRT are discussed and a treatment plan agreed.

Certain types and preparations of HRT may be safer for women with a history of breast cancer but good quality research and data on recurrence and outcome for women who have already had breast cancer is currently lacking.

What we do know is that women have a right to the best possible science and the best available health care. We know women deserve to receive care that is directed at improving their quality of life as well as improving future health. Uncertainty is communicated during consultations which involves shared decision making with the woman and her clinician.

At Newson Health, we work closely with academic partners across the UK, to contribute to greater understanding of how menopausal symptoms can be ameliorated with holistic care that attends to the needs and preferences of each individual patient.

Dr Louise Newson, FRCGP
Newson Health Menopause & Wellbeing Centre
18 July 2022