Menopause after breast cancer: A survey on breast cancer survivors

Nicoletta Biglia, Marilena Cozzarella, Franca Cacciari, Riccardo Ponzone, Riccardo Roagna, Furio Maggiorotto, Piero Sismondi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Due to the younger age and the ever wider use of adjuvant chemotherapy and antiestrogens, menopausal symptoms are a frequent cause of concern for breast cancer patients. Objectives: To determine the prevalence of menopausal symptoms, and to explore the attitudes toward Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) or other treatments and the willingness to take oestrogen in breast cancer patients. Methods: A questionnaire-based survey on 250 breast cancer patients treated and followed-up at our department. Of them 144 (Group A) were in postmenopause and 106 (Group B) were in premenopause at time of diagnosis. Results: Adjuvant therapy with tamoxifen or tamoxifen plus chemotherapy is associated with a significant worsening of menopause-related symptoms of women belonging to Group A. These women are more concerned about risk of breast cancer recurrence than about risk of osteoporosis (P=0.05) and heart disease (P=0.006). Seventy-eight percent are against the use of HRT; only 22% would consider taking HRT mainly for vasomotor symptoms relief and osteoporosis prevention. The incidence of vasomotor and dystrophic symptoms is significantly higher in women belonging to Group B treated with chemotherapy and/or hormonotherapy as compared with postmenopausal women (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-38
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 30 2003



  • Adjuvant therapy
  • Breast cancer
  • Hormone replacement therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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