Breast Cancer Survivors and Vaginal Estrogen Expert opinion affirms need to weigh risks and benefits. Prescription creams, rings or tablets that release estrogen locally in the vagina are available to treat the problem. But whether these products are safe for women who have had an estrogen-fueled tumor remains an open question. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 3 million breast cancer survivors are in the U.
By the way, doctor: Is vaginal estrogen safe? - Harvard Health
Member contributors included Ruth Farrell, MD. This document reflects emerging clinical and scientific advances as of the date issued and is subject to change. The information should not be construed as dictating an exclusive course of treatment or procedure to be followed. Cancer treatment should address female-specific survivorship issues, including the hypoestrogenic-related adverse effects of cancer therapies or of natural menopause in survivors. Systemic and vaginal estrogen are widely used for symptomatic relief of vasomotor symptoms, sexual dysfunction, and lower urinary tract infections in the general population.
Using Vaginal Estrogen Not Linked to High Breast Cancer Risk
ACOG endorsed its use, but what do experts think? MedpageToday by Molly Walker, Contributing Writer February 26, This week, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists ACOG endorsed the use of vaginal estrogen in breast cancer survivors to treat urogenital symptoms, if more conservative therapies have failed. Vaginal estrogen contains a black box warning, which tends to deter cancer survivors from its use, though the North American Menopause Society NAMS is in the process of trying to get that changed.
In particular, the increasing usage of aromatase inhibitors in the past few years has led to an increased incidence of vaginal atrophy with symptoms such as vaginal dryness, petechial bleeding, dyspareunia and recurrent cystitis. And just these symptoms have a detrimental impact on the quality of life of breast cancer patients. Application of a topical estrogen therapy represents the most effective means to treat vaginal atrophy. The use of a systemic or, respectively, topical hormone therapy is, however, contraindicated for breast cancer patients. Further clinical trials are needed in order to assess the safety of vaginal estrogen therapy.