Practical clinical guidelines for assessing and managing menopausal symptoms after breast cancer

M. Hickey, C. Saunders, A. Partridge, N. Santoro, H. Joffe, V. Stearns

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Background: The purpose of this study was to provide practical, evidence-based guidelines for evaluating and treating common menopausal symptoms following breast cancer. Methods: Literature review of the causes, assessment and management of menopausal symptoms in breast cancer patients. Results: A number of nonhormonal treatments are effective in treating hot flashes. Whether pharmacological treatment is given will depend on the severity of symptoms and on patient wishes. For severe and frequent hot flashes, the best data support the use of venlafaxine, paroxetine and gabapentin in women with breast cancer. Side-effects are relatively common with all these agents. For vaginal dryness, topical estrogen treatment is the most effective but the safety of estrogens following breast cancer is not established. There are limited data on effective treatments for sexual dysfunction during menopause. Conclusion: Menopausal symptoms after breast cancer should be evaluated and managed as warranted using a systematic approach and may benefit from multidisciplinary input.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1669-1680
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2008


  • Atrophic vaginitis
  • Breast cancer
  • Hot flashes
  • Nonhormonal treatment
  • Sexual dysfunction after breast cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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