Hormone therapy can play different roles for survivors of gynecologic cancer. It may help prevent cancer recurrence or it may be used to treat symptoms of menopause. At Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, we’ll help you determine if hormone therapy is right for you and your type of cancer.
Hormone Replacement Therapy for Treatment of Menopause
Gynecologic cancer treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery, can all affect the way your ovaries produce hormones. If your ovaries are removed during surgery or damaged by other treatments, you will experience symptoms of early menopause such as:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Reduced bone density
Hormone replacement therapy increases the levels of estrogen in your body to help stop these symptoms and improve your quality of life. It is a simple therapy that only requires you to take a pill or two each day. However, it is not clear if hormone replacement therapy may increase your risk of having certain cancers return. Your doctor will talk to you about the risks and benefits of this treatment. If you are not a candidate for hormone replacement therapy, your provider may suggest other medical or natural alternatives to treat the symptoms of menopause.
Acupuncture has also been shown to help with hot flashes.
Hormone Therapy to Prevent Cancer Recurrence
Certain types of ovarian and endometrial cancers use estrogen to grow. Hormone therapy prevents cancer cells from using estrogen. It involves taking a pill after your cancer treatment is over.