Content advisory: this podcast contains themes of mental health and suicide.
Dr Louise is joined by her patient Trudie Jennings in this episode to talk about the complexities around HRT during and after treatment for breast cancer.
Trudie describes how she started HRT to successfully manage crippling anxiety and other menopause symptoms and a few months later she was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer.
NICE guidance states women should stop taking systemic HRT if they are diagnosed with breast cancer. However, after careful discussion with her cancer doctor and nurse, Trudie decided to continue with HRT during her treatment as, for her, the menopause symptoms were more challenging than her cancer treatment.
Trudie and Dr Louise discuss shared decision making and informed consent, and how important it is for women with and after breast cancer to be fully informed about potential risks, benefits and uncertainties about HRT following a breast cancer diagnosis so they can make the best decision that is right for them.
Trudie’s three tips for women who have had breast cancer and are struggling with their menopause:
- Know that as a patient you do have choices about whether to start or continue HRT after breast cancer treatment.
- Speak to your doctors and nurses and be informed so that you can make the right, personalised, decision for yourself. Trudie has found her healthcare professionals in cancer care open and helpful when discussing her need for HRT.
- You know your own body best, so listen to your body to get the treatment that will be best support you.
Contact the Samaritans for 24-hour, confidential support by calling 116 123 or email [email protected]
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