Vaginal oestrogen therapy after breast cancer: Is it safe?

Riccardo Ponzone, Nicoletta Biglia, Maria Elena Jacomuzzi, Furio Maggiorotto, Luca Mariani, Piero Sismondi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The increasing number of breast cancer patients who suffer from menopausal symptoms is mainly due to the extensive use of adjuvant treatments in the younger women. Both short and long-term side effects of oestrogen deficiency may severely impact on the quality of life of these women and should not be underestimated. Hormonal treatments are contraindicated in breast cancer survivors mainly due to the concern that dormant micrometastases may be stimulated to grow. Alternative non-hormonal remedies are now available to alleviate symptoms and to prevent chronic diseases associated with oestrogen deficiency. Urogenital atrophy is an important consequence of oestrogen deprivation that can be effectively treated by vaginal estrogens, although systemic absorption occurs with conventional doses. Preliminary data suggest that much lower doses of vaginal estrogens can alleviate urogenital atrophy without influencing serum estrogenic levels. Further research is warranted to confirm whether vaginal estrogens are safe in symptomatic breast cancer patients who are non-responsive to alternative treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2673-2681
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005


  • Breast cancer
  • Oestrogen
  • Vaginal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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