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Unread 10-26-2002, 08:02 AM
cancer/estrogen therapy

I have spoken with my onc/gyn/surgeon's nurse since my original post regarding the continued use of estrogen with a diagnosis of cancer. It seems that this group is all for continued estrogen use IF I wish to continue. I can have estrogen vaginally also IF that is what I want. My internist says it is my decision also. I get the feeling that the dr's are afraid to take a stand. I am certainly confused. The posted threads here generally favor no estrogen, at least for 2 years. So, I halved my dosage of Triest Wednesday and so far feel no different. Next week I will half again and see how that feels. I plan to purchase an estrogen vaginal creme just in case (vaginal atrophy is scary) My biggest fear though is cognitive dysfunction or brain fog. Does that return ?
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Unread 10-26-2002, 11:05 AM
cancer/estrogen therapy

s All

So the HRT debate continues. I always read these discussions but don't usually participate. Having had stage III ovarian cancer, I don't want estrogen no matter what any gyn onc says. Not worth the risk in my mind. My own gyn onc has never mentioned it to me. I guess that means she is against it. KY jelly works great!
Dare to in DC once said, when HRT is not an option, we seem to tolerate all the menopausal symptoms better than average.
I do think that once we are diagnosed with the cancer word, alot of the decisions we make are based on what we will regret the least in the future.
In the HRT areana, I know I will never regret not having used it. And there is always the chance for great regret if I do use.
In September I attended a large ovarian cancer conference in Washington DC. One of the most interesting speakers was a woman MD PhD. Her view point on HRT was that scientific studies had never been done to prove that HRT prevented all the disease processes it had claimed to prevent. Her feeling was that doctors had basically been brainwashed by the pharmiceutical companies and lobbyists to prescribe their drugs.
Just some food for thought........

Unread 10-26-2002, 11:08 AM
cancer/estrogen therapy

I learned a lot at the compounding pharmicist. Triest comes in 1.25, .625 and .03 strenghths. This creme has a half life of about 10 days in the body. My pharmacist suggests waiting 2 weeks to evaluate the effect of the dosage cut before cutting lower. He also said that Triest applied VAGINALLY would become systemic. He also thinks that ANY vaginal brand of estrogen creme would be absorbed into the entire body. His point was that the risk would be the same REGARDLESS of application method or brand of estrogen chosen.
ATage 53 I do not know anyone that has remained sane/sexually active after hysterectomy without estrogen. I have read the "no hormone jungle" but they seem UNHAPPY. How did hysterectomy/cancer patients survive after surgery and before estrogen confused everyone including the professionals?
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Unread 10-26-2002, 11:18 AM
cancer/estrogen therapy

Hi Bev

I am a sane, sexually active 50 year old woman who was thrust into surgical menopause at age 49. My only aid is KY jelly. My libido might be slightly less than pre surgery but all in all not too bad. I am just so darn happy to be alive and healthy. I do have occasional hot flashes and some insomnia, one year out from surgery. But thus far I have not felt the need for sleep meds or anti depressants. Don't get me wrong, if I needed those pills, I'd get them in a wink. I understand we are all different. But I bet there are more woman out there like me than you can imagine. Best wishes to you.

Unread 10-26-2002, 01:11 PM
cancer/estrogen therapy


It's also true that HRT doesn't have to mean ESTROGEN - see recent threads in the Hormone Jungle on using testosterone alone, and also one called "is estrogen creme bettern than non-hormonal stuff...." which ends up being more wide-ranging than the title would suggest.... Testosterone or progesterone can cause your body to CREATE some estrogen, but to me, it seems like maybe a safer alternative... You should check out Dr. Lee's book, if you haven't ("What Your Doctor May NOT Tell YOu About Menopause" ) although, also see threads above which are sceptical of this.

Certainly women throughout history up until HRT was introduced (when - in the 50s, maybe?) got by without it; surely some of them HAD to be "sane and sexually active"? My mother never used it; she is sane (well, reasonably ) although I don't know about the sex part; I haven't asked As far as the women on the "no hormone" board being unhappy, I have to say, I don't know that those in the "hormone jungle" seem any happier! It seems like MANY of the problems that come up there are HRT induced. I think once they find a way to get "balanced", people are happier, but I think you could find people on the "no hormone" board who say the same thing - i.e., it takes awhile to figure out which supplements to take, and for them to kick in...

Having said all this, I AM considering testosterone myself at the moment, so I guess all this is sort of theoretical at this point! Yet, even as I write, I'm starting to talk myself into thinking maybe I should give non-hormonal solutions a longer try... my MAIN thing is lack of libido, and I only last week started taking some stuff for it.

These are difficult issues!

Unread 10-26-2002, 01:43 PM
cancer/estrogen therapy

Just wanted to add: Keep in mind that women who are feeling relatively healthy and happy in their hormoneless state are not posting on the hormone forums. Kinda like the silent minority or majority!
Again, best wishes. ooxoxkarenann
Unread 10-27-2002, 05:46 PM
cancer/estrogen therapy

i have to check out the hormone jungle when i have more time. i specifically asked my onc. if i could just use a vaginal lubricant if i felt dry (which i don't yet) and he said that would help how i felt, but the only thing that would help vaginal atrophy would be the estrogen cream. i think it's the estriol cream. supposedly, and i have to research this, but he claims that that type of estrogen stays in the vaginal and urinary tract area and doesn't go beyond that so it would be safe for me to use. he said it would not help with any of the other menopause symptoms like hot flashes, heart palps, etc. however, when he thought my cancer was more than what it turned out to be he had said no kind of estrogen, even supplements (black cohosh, etc.). now he says i can have black cohosh and the estriol cream when i need it.

i really hope he's wrong about DEFINITELY needing the estriol cream. i'm scared of a recurrence and just so happy to be alive and cancer free that i don't want to take any chances.

regarding having a good sexual life after the hyster without hrt, so far so good for me. things are great, especially compared to "before." i feel free now and don't have to worry about pain and bleeding anymore. of course, i've just starting having sex after the requisite 6 weeks post surgery, but i couldn't be more pleased with things now.

Unread 10-27-2002, 10:19 PM
cancer/estrogen therapy


Wow, it's good to know that at least SOMEONE has a good sex life post-surgery and without hormones! Do you take any particular supplements for this?

Unread 10-28-2002, 05:47 AM
cancer/estrogen therapy

I am about 14 weeks post op now and found that everything in the romance dept is actually better than before the hyst. I never knew when I would start bleeding and cramping and it is such a relief to not have that anymore that it makes it all better.... .
Unread 10-28-2002, 04:16 PM
cancer/estrogen therapy


i take ALOT of supplements but not any specifically for libido (at least none that i know of). i read that ginseng is good for libido and vitex, although i don't take either.

i just looked in my "menopause" folder where i keep all kinds of info i come across in books or on the internet and i have two essential oils listed that are supposedly good for menopause and both good for sex drive as well: geranium and rose. i haven't tried either yet but i did order rose essential oil to burn in my little oil burning pot or put in my bath water. also, ylang ylang is supposed to be an aphrodisiac.

now get busy!!!!!!! ginny

ps: chris i feel the same way - sex is MUCH better for me too!

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