Vaginal Estrogen Therapy: A Potential Lifeline for Breast Cancer Patients
A recent study published in JAMA Oncology has shed light on the potential benefits of vaginal estrogen therapy in breast cancer patients. Contrary to previous concerns, the therapy does not increase the risk of death in patients with breast cancer. In fact, it may even decrease the risk of breast cancer-specific death and all-cause death.
- The study examined data from national cancer registries in Scotland and Wales for 49,237 women diagnosed with breast cancer between the ages of 40 and 79 years.
- After breast cancer diagnosis, 5% of patients used vaginal estrogen therapy, and 1% received systemic hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
- There was a modest decrease in the risk of breast cancer-specific death among patients who used vaginal estrogen therapy.
- The risk of breast cancer-specific death was similar whether patients received 1-4 vaginal estrogen therapy prescriptions or 5 or more prescriptions.
- There was no significant association between systemic HRT use and breast cancer-specific death.
- There was no significant association between vaginal estrogen use and cardiovascular death.
- There was a modest decrease in the risk of all-cause death among vaginal estrogen users.
According to the National Cancer Institute, women who receive at least 5 years of adjuvant therapy with tamoxifen after having surgery for early-stage ER-positive breast cancer have reduced risks of breast cancer recurrence.
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