ecancermedicalscience

Special Issue

A systematic review of laser therapy for vulvovaginal atrophy/genitourinary syndrome of menopause in breast cancer survivors

12 Dec 2019
Charity Knight, Vera Logan, Deborah Fenlon

Women who have been treated for breast cancer may experience vulvo-vaginal atrophy (VVA)/genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM). This is a progressive condition and will not improve without treatment. Whilst vaginal oestrogen is the most effective treatment for GSM, many breast cancer survivors and clinicians remain reluctant to use it. Laser therapy is emerging as an alternative treatment for this condition but there is little evidence available as to its value in this setting.

We undertook a systematic literature review to identify available evidence for the use of laser therapy for VVA in women with breast cancer. There are a number of small studies which suggest an improvement in vaginal health in this group. However, these are all small, non-randomised studies and there are a number of key questions which need to be answered before this treatment can be implemented into practice.