HRT and Breast Cancer

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Written by Dr Laila Kaikavoosi


This is a topic which often causes anxiety amongst both the women deciding on HRT use for their menopausal symptoms and the doctors treating them.


Breast cancer has many different types and subtypes. All behaving differently, with different treatments and outcomes. The risks of taking HRT must always be discussed fully and any woman deciding on HRT treatment should understand the risks and benefits of what has been prescribed for them.


There are many different factors which play a significant role in development of breast cancer. These are a few of the lifestyle factors:


⭐ Body mass index (BMI) which is calculated but dividing weight (in Kg) by height (in meter squared). BMI=weight(kg)/height(m2)


⭐ Smoking


⭐ Alcohol


⭐ Exercise


Other factors which need to be considered are family history as well as current or previous history of breast cancer.


The risks and benefits of taking HRT should be discussed and weighed up thoroughly in every case. Every woman should be assessed fully, and all factors considered together and holistically rather than in isolation.


Women are denied treatment far too easily and made to feel great fear from taking a treatment which could have many long-term benefits for them. Sleeping well, feeling less anxious, having the motivation to enjoy regular exercise can outweigh the risks of taking HRT.


Understand your risks, educate yourself about the benefits of taking HRT and be ready to discuss these with your menopause specialist or doctor. There are very few times where taking HRT is absolutely contraindicated. Don’t be fearful unnecessarily.