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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 78

of 'Approach to the patient following treatment for breast cancer'

Practical clinical guidelines for assessing and managing menopausal symptoms after breast cancer.
Hickey M, Saunders C, Partridge A, Santoro N, Joffe H, Stearns V
Ann Oncol. 2008;19(10):1669. Epub 2008 Jun 2.
BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to provide practical, evidence-based guidelines for evaluating and treating common menopausal symptoms following breast cancer.
METHODS: Literature review of the causes, assessment and management of menopausal symptoms in breast cancer patients.
RESULTS: A number of nonhormonal treatments are effective in treating hot flashes. Whether pharmacological treatment is given will depend on the severity of symptoms and on patient wishes. For severe and frequent hot flashes, the best data support the use of venlafaxine, paroxetine and gabapentin in women with breast cancer. Side-effects are relatively common with all these agents. For vaginal dryness, topical estrogen treatment is the most effective but the safety of estrogens following breast cancer is not established. There are limited data on effective treatments for sexual dysfunction during menopause.
CONCLUSION: Menopausal symptoms after breast cancer should be evaluated and managed as warranted using a systematic approach and may benefit from multidisciplinary input.
School of Women's and Infants Health, King Edward Memorial Hospital, University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia. mhickey@meddent.uwa.edu.au