Drugs & Aging

, Volume 35, Issue 8, pp 699–705 | Cite as

The Management of Menopausal Symptoms in Women Following Breast Cancer: An Overview

  • Cheryl Phua
  • Rodney BaberEmail author
Therapy in Practice


The improved detection and successful treatment of breast cancer, resulting in better survival rates, has led to an increasing number of women living with the effects of treatment modalities and their long-term consequences. Menopausal symptoms following breast cancer can occur at an earlier age, be more severe and significantly influence a woman’s overall wellbeing, in particular, sexual function, quality of life and adherence to treatment. There is a dearth of good quality evidence on the safest and most effective treatment options available for these women, and this article aims to summarize the current available treatments. Pertinent to these women is general advice, such as avoidance of triggers, and lifestyle modifications. Following which, non-pharmacological interventions, including cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), hypnosis, acupuncture, stellate ganglion nerve block and complementary agents, are discussed. Pharmacological therapies and their safety profile in these high-risk women are then examined; namely, menopausal hormone therapy, progestogens, antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors), gabapentin, clonidine and intra-vaginal dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Finally, neurokinin 3 receptor antagonists, promising new agents for the treatment of troublesome menopausal vasomotor symptoms, are discussed.


Compliance with ethical standards


:No funding was provided for the preparation of this paper.

Conflict of interest

Author Cheryl Phua has received speaker’s honorarium from Besins Healthcare. Rodney Baber has received speaker’s honoraria from Besins Healthcare and Pfizer, and has conducted research in women’s health funded by Pfizer, Bayer, and Organon. He received no personal remuneration for these studies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Royal Prince Alfred HospitalSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sydney Medical School North, Royal North Shore HospitalThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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