Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 208–217

Educational Review Hormone Replacement Therapy and Breast Cancer

  • David B. Pearlstone
  • Melissa M. Pearlstone
  • Rena Vassilopoulou-Sellin
  • S. Eva Singletary
Educational Review

DOI: 10.1007/s10434-999-0208-z

Cite this article as:
Pearlstone, D.B., Pearlstone, M.M., Vassilopoulou-Sellin, R. et al. Ann Surg Oncol (1999) 6: 208. doi:10.1007/s10434-999-0208-z

Abstract

The use of hormone replacement therapy by postmenopausal women with a history of breast cancer is a subject of considerable controversy. There are no scientific studies that have appropriately examined the issue, and current practice is often based on inferences from indirect evidence, anecdotal experience, and personal bias. Our understanding of the effects of exogenous, as well as endogenous, hormones on normal and neoplastic breast tissue provides some insights but is not an appropriate basis for clinical practice. The effects of exogenous hormone replacement on the overall health of postmenopausal women, including psychosocial issues, cardiovascular risks, and the morbidity of osteoporosis, must be understood before patients can be counseled appropriately. Treatment of patients must be individualized. The rapidly expanding area of nonhormonal therapies for the treatment of postmenopausal health risks and the treatment of symptomatic complaints in postmenopausal women has already led to a reevaluation of the use of exogenous hormones among all women. A prospective randomized trial that examines the effects of hormone replacement on women with a history of breast cancer is currently underway and will provide valuable data to address these issues. The aim of this review is to outline the scientific basis for the association between estrogen and breast cancer and to provide a framework in which individualized recommendations concerning the use of hormone replacement therapy can be made for patients with breast cancer.

Key Words

EstrogenNeoplasiaBreast cancer riskSelective estrogen receptor modulators

Copyright information

© The Society of Surgical Oncology, Inc. 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • David B. Pearlstone
    • 1
  • Melissa M. Pearlstone
    • 3
  • Rena Vassilopoulou-Sellin
    • 2
  • S. Eva Singletary
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Surgical OncologyThe University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer CenterHouston
  2. 2.Department of Medical SpecialtiesThe University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer CenterHouston
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyMacGregor Medical AssociatesHoustonTexas
  4. 4.Department of Surgical OncologyThe University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer CenterHouston