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Hormone Replacement?

Posts: 31
Joined: Mar 2002

Hi, I was wondering if anyone out there had info on HRT after their hysterectomy and chemo treatments? I had already gone thru menepause prior to my diagnosis, but I had just recently stopped my HRT 5-6 mos prior to the diagnosis which is how long the surgeon felt my ovarian cancer started. I thought that was an interesting correlation! I've been reading that lack of estrogen/progesteron can cause cervical/ovarian/breast cancer so I was wondering what the doctors main line approach for women dealing with ovarian cancer was. I know my dr is 100% involved at this time with beating the "beast", but at the same time, I don't want the "beast" back either! Any feedback would be appreciated! Thanks, Sue

Posts: 105
Joined: Nov 2000

I don't think anyone really knows much about the effects of estrogen and cancers partly because there are lots of different cancers involving the same organ. I do know the following: cervical has been linked with exposure to an HPV (human papilloma [?] virus), which is unfortunately pretty common. Too much "unopposed" estrogen can help produce uterine cancer.
I don't think that estrogen is a danger for the other cancers, especially since my oncologist recommended that I start on replacement therapy right away. I just haven't heard that it helps (though I'd certainly be interested to hear more about that possibility!). I was on the verge of uterine cancer, so I had a hysterectomy, and that's how they found the ovarian. If my ovaries were producing too much estrogen that they caused a dangerous uterine condition, and if estrogen protected ovaries, you wouldn't expect my condition to happen but apparently it does some (small) percent of the time.
Anyway, I'm curious too, to hear about other people's experiences and research.

smfreia's picture
Posts: 22
Joined: Apr 2002

Hmmm, I've heard that estrogen/progesteron is related to cancer not the lack of it causing cancer. I had a complete hysterectomy for my ovarian cancer and my doctor wanted to put me on HRT. I heard that HRT has been linked to certain types of cancers, so, when no one could answer my questions about it to my satisfaction, I declined HRT. The two things of major importance when you don't have HRT is cardiac involvement (still iffy) and loss of bone density. As of last checkup my bone density has increased slightly so I am apparently not suffering from lack of hormones. I do have slight hot flashes, but that is easier to live with than worrying about breast cancer.

Posts: 4
Joined: May 2002

Hi Sue
My surgery was Feb 28, 02. I had been on estrogen since I was 42, am 61 now (since 5/5). My Gyn/Onc took me off estrogen at surgery. It took a week for hot flashes to return and I thought I was well beyond that stage of my life. I am now taking low dose progesterone. He said the lower the better.
I also take bellergal because the 10mg was not enough. I have not read that the lack of those hormones can cause those cancers. My sister had breast cancer which she apparently developed after she started taking estrogen. Her dr. took her off estrogen and put her on progesteron.
Sounds like you have a wonderful dr. You WILL beat the beast!

Posts: 31
Joined: Mar 2002

Hi Carlene,
Thanks for the response, sounds like we were in the hospital almost at the same time. I hope you are recovering well. Are you in the chemo process now? If so, are you tolerating it well? Anyway, thanks for the reply and I'm sure you will do well in your recovery as well. Blessings, Sue

Posts: 4
Joined: May 2002

Sue, I am one of the very lucky ones. Dispite having symptoms for some time (actually several months) my cancer was rated 1A. I have not had to do chemo though I am getting careful monitoring. My CA125 6 weeks after surgery was 13. Before surgery it was 1360. I have been truly blessed.

Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2001

Sue, it's interesting that you would ask that question. I was just thinking about asking the same question on the network. I am on hormone replacement. I was 38 at the time of my diagnosis. My Dr. said he did not want to play around by not placing me on HRT. I guess thats the difference. I had not gone through menopause before my hysterectomy. My Dr. also mentioned something about an increase of heart disease without HRT. I met a woman at our local Relay For Life and she is a 27 year survivor of Ovca. She was 20 at the time of her diagnosis and after surgery, she was never put on HRT.

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