Managing menopausal symptoms after cancer.Climacteric 2019; :1-7C
The joint burden of cancer and menopause impacts millions of women globally. This review provides an approach to management of menopausal symptoms after cancer in all settings. This includes an overview of current evidence for both hormonal and non-hormonal treatments for vasomotor symptoms and vaginal dryness after cancer. Systemic menopausal hormone therapy provides symptom control and may be used after most cancers but should be avoided after estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer and after some other estrogen-dependent cancers. Non-hormonal therapies have been minimally studied in women after a cancer diagnosis and, where they have been studied, it is usually in women with breast cancer. Non-hormonal methods to manage vasomotor symptoms include cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnosis, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors, clonidine, and gabapentin. Vaginal estrogen may be useful to address vaginal dryness. However, safety data in breast cancer patients are still lacking and there is currently no consensus. Lubricants may also help with pain with sexual activity. Management of menopausal symptoms after cancer may be challenging and should include information about induced menopause and possible symptoms as well as available treatments. Management then requires a holistic and multidisciplinary approach with individualized care.