HRT or not to HRT?!

Hi all

I'm now 10 months in remission but still have reduced energy levels and joint/muscular pains. I am seeing a homeopathic Doctor and having acupuncture for the pains in my arms so am trying every alternative method I can think of. My oncologist has twice suggested that I have an oestrogen only HRT. My GP hasn't been too happy about the idea as they don't like to give it to those women over 50 years, but the oncologist has convinced her that it would be safe for me. So - I have no been taking it for a few days..........I'm frightened to bits though in case it brings the OC back. It's just such a difficult place to be in. My oncology/gynae team are the experts and they have given me their advice - it's just scary.

Anyone had similar experiences?

7 Replies

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  • Hi Eleni

    I had borderline ovarian cancer and have taken HRT since my first operation two years ago. I was 48 at the time. Mine was a different case as my cancer was not yet invasive and it was not diagnosed until long after my operation. Also I had terrible menopausal symptoms in hospital after the operation.

    My consultant is adamant that this is fine. To be honest even if it was harmful I don't think that I could have coped emotionally and physically without it.She says that there is no proven link between OVCA and HRT , that untill the natural age of the menopause i.e. 51ish the oestrogen is just replacing the oestrogen from our menstrual cycles and that oestrogen only HRT carries the very lowest risk of breast cancer 'till 51 and almost definitely for 5 to 10 years.

    For me, I feel that the effect on my mood and sleep loss etc of being without would have been more harmful to my poor battered immune system and my quality of life than the unproven link to recurrence of my cancer.I feel extremely well now , I ran the Race for Life for the first time ever recently , I volunteer and go to the gym regularly as well as keeping down a chellenging job.

    As you say your specialists really are the experts and if it helps you then why suffer ? You may wish just to continue for a few months and then reassess.

    I do realise that other ladies have been given different information based on their individual circumstances.

    Take care and long may your remission last.

    Love

    Charlie xxxx

  • Hi Eleni,

    Every case is an individual one and yours will be unique to you too.

    I have been in remission for 14 months and I have the same awful symptoms as you speak off. I asked about HRT but was told I couldn`t have it - I have no idea why some of us can and some of us can`t. This just tells me how different we all are. The oncologists would not offer you this unless it was safe.

    These symptoms are simply awful - I feel so ill some days its hard to actually accept I have no active cancer at the moment. So I do have empathy to what you are going through yourself.

    I do feel and I`m sure most would agree with me - this is also about quality of life, and my quality of life is worse than the life threneing disease right now.

    If I was offered anything to help me feel well and enjoy my remission as I hear others doing on this site then I`d welcome it dearly.

    If you are really worried talk to the ovacome nurse because I am simply no expert to give this kind of advice I am simply no different to any others who share and chat about experiences.

    I hope it helps to at least know how much lots of us understand on here.

    Big Hugs from Tina

  • Dear Charlie and Tina

    Thank you so much for your input. You're right, in some respects, my symptoms now are worse than the disease! which is nonsense isn't it! My oncologist has telephoned me this morning to reasuure me that it is the best thing for me and I've now had 4 of the tablets - so roll on finding benefit.............

    Thanks for listening

    Eleni xx

  • I am 52, and got my ovaries removed last year (at natural menopause age), due to OVCA in the family,and myself being high risk.

    I am on HRT, but am still getting terrible sweats. I am going to see my gyn-onc on Wednesday, about it as sweats are still there despite being on 3 mg oestrogen a day.

    Is anyone else on HRT still experiencing sweats.

    Frances

  • PS : I am allowed to stay on HRT until 55, but may be looking to get an oestrogen patch instead. I never actually had OVCA, maybe that is why I am getting HRT, but I have to take progestrone as well, as it cuts the risk of breast cancer. Apparently oestroge/HRT increases the risk of BC, but having ovaries removed reduces the risk.

    Obviously with no ovaries I wont get OVCA, but they seem worried about the link to BC, as these go hand in hand apparently.

    No BC in family just two cases of OVCA, on of which was my mother and the other a great grandmother.

  • Hi Eleni

    All the other answers link with what I was told. I had the op nearly ten years ago now and had HRT implants for two years afterwards as I had bad hot flush symptoms etc when they were beginning to wear off. However I went to a menopause clinic at my local hospital where the consultant knew my history. She Sid the only risk is a minor one, linked to breast cancer, unless your OC was oestrogen-related, which mine wasn't. I was advised though that the risks of breast cancer increased for every year after the age of 55 so she suggested I try the natural approach. I take soya isoflavones, which don't suit all types of patients, and am still having hot flushes but she was able to give me low-dose hormone pessaries for vaginal dryness, which was becoming very uncomfortable a few years ago. These are good and have solved the problem. I felt really well when I was on the HRT implants, I would have liked to continue really as they also helped my migraines, which I now am back to having regularly. I guess I am saying, see if you can get some more advice. Is ther a menopause clinic at your hospital? Is your OC oestrogen linked? There is a lot to think about, isn't t there? There are also lots of other back threads on here via the search box at the top of the page, if you type in HRT. We all have to find our own way through this one, I think :-S

    Good luck

    Love Wendy xx

  • Sorry about the typos ....... I have a new I-pad and I am still getting used to the keyboard :-O

    W xx

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