ecancermedicalscience

Review

Non-hormonal strategies for managing menopausal symptoms in cancer survivors: an update

11 Mar 2019
Nicoletta Biglia, Valentina E Bounous, Francesco De Seta, Stefano Lello, Rossella E Nappi, Anna Maria Paoletti

Vasomotor symptoms, particularly hot flushes (HFs), are the most frequently reported symptom by menopausal women. In particular, for young women diagnosed with breast cancer, who experience premature ovarian failure due to cancer treatments, severe HFs are an unsolved problem that strongly impacts on quality of life. The optimal management of HFs requires a personalised approach to identify the treatment with the best benefit/risk profile for each woman. Hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) is effective in managing HFs but it is contraindicated in women with previous hormone-dependent cancer. Moreover, many healthy women are reluctant to take HRT and prefer to manage symptoms with non-hormonal strategies. In this narrative review, we provide an update on the current available non-oestrogenic strategies for HFs management for women who cannot, or do not wish to, take oestrogens. Since isoflavones have oestrogenic properties and it is not known if they can be safely consumed by women with previous hormonedependent cancer, they were excluded. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors/selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, as well as other neuroactive agents, some herbal remedies and behavioural strategies are considered.

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