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HRT and a family history of breast cancer

(7 Posts)
PineappleFwitters Wed 01-Jan-20 10:22:45

After experiencing some menopausal symptoms (I'm 43) I went to the gynae clinic where the doctor said I didn't need HRT just yet as the symptoms are so mild. But she also said I might not be a candidate for HRT because of a history of breast cancer in my family.

However, this history is my paternal grandmother, who had BC in her 40s, but survived and lived til her 80s (she died of a different kind of cancer but it was apparently unrelated to what she had 40 years before) and a first cousin on my mum's side who died of BC aged 49.

Are these considered close relatives for this purpose? I'm not sure I want to go through menopause without HRT!

PineappleFwitters Wed 01-Jan-20 10:30:42

Oh and an aunt on my dad's side also had breast cancer but none of her daughters have. My mother and maternal grandmother have not had it either.

JinglingHellsBells Wed 01-Jan-20 10:33:03

No they aren't and your dr is talking nonsense. Not all gynaes know about menopause and HRT.

My consultant ( a leading meno specialist in the UK) says it's first degree relatives who had BC at an early age ( before 45) that counts: that's your mother, sister or a daughter.

And in any case, you are almost 10 years early for menopause ( although peri can start at your age.)

Using HRT before age 51 ( average meno age) does not count as 'risk'. You are simply topping up your own levels which ought to be there till you are 50.

Do read up on early and premature menopause- it's a risk factor for heart disease, osteoporosis and dementia.

HRT is prescribed to younger women to prevent this.

JinglingHellsBells Wed 01-Jan-20 10:36:05

There is also a lot of controversy on whether HRT actually causes breast cancer, anyway.

If you have time, do some googling and see some links videos to interviews with Prof Michael Baum and Avrun Bluming. Both are cancer/ breast specialists whose daughters are using HRT despite cancer (Bluming's daughter had it) and strong family history of it.

PineappleFwitters Wed 01-Jan-20 10:45:00

Thanks @JinglingHellsBells, I was hoping you'd reply!

My periods have been all over the place for the past year or so - cycles of about 50-60 days, one episode of a month long period, a few very light periods. Two blood tests showed increased FSH levels and the doctor has ordered another one for next month but I know they aren't the best for younger women.

But lack of periods (along with mild hot flushes from time to time) are literally my only symptoms. Other than that I feel fine.

JinglingHellsBells Wed 01-Jan-20 11:40:45

I'd say the most important thing is to consider HRT if and when you have fewer periods each year. This is because you will be producing less estrogen and in the long term that could affect your bones and heart.

It's the same for women athletes whose periods stop sometimes, or women who are anorexic. Missed periods at a young age can lead to osteoporosis.

See how you go over the next 6-9 months maybe?

Emerald13 Wed 01-Jan-20 14:18:24

I started hrt at 41 with regular but very light periods. Actually my symptoms were too severe, so hrt is a necessity for me. My diagnosis was based more on my symptoms.

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