post op hrt question

I had my rad hysterectomy at the beginning of sept. I have had a brief chat with my surgeon about hrt but want to know what you ladies think/have experience of. I've been told my tumour was quite large which means I have more chance of a recurrence and one (out of 27) lymph nodes had a speck of cancer on it. Apparently hrt can encourage cancer¿????? I am having a few night sweats and emotional swings but all manageable. I am 45yrs old. Should I be asking for a bone density scan? I know it is early days and more symptoms might develop. Any advice please.

Hey there,

I had my hysterectomy in July and started on HRT 1 week after surgery.  I didn't have any symptoms before I started the HRT though my consultant said surgical menopause usually starts 2 weeks after surgery.  So I'm glad I missed that!

HRT can slighty increase your risk of developing breast cancer.  I weighed it up and thought as the risk is very minimal I will go down the HRT route.   The risk of a woman developing breast cancer between ages 50 and 70 is 45 per 1000. If HRT is taken, there is a small added risk of 4 extra cases every 5 years.  Menopausal symptoms are largely short term but the consequences of loss of oestrogen have a marked effect on bones and the cardio-. vascular system. Osteoporosis, heart attacks and strokes become increasingly common in women after the menopause.  As I'm 'only' 42 (ha ha) I didn't want to be without these hormones at a younger age than the average age (52) for a natural menopause.

HRT has been fine for me.  I have no symptoms from the menopause and no problem at all with the brand of HRT that I on.  Menopause & HRT was one of the things that really worried me when diagnosed but I have to say its been fine!  I feel no different, I think it keeps you young.  I just have to remember to take a tablet every evening. Smile 

Best of luck with your decision.  Tess xxx

Thanks Tess that's really helpful.

Tess, just noticed you also had microscopic node involvement. Were you advised to have any more treatment? Do you have regular imaging scans? I have an appt with an oncologist next week but don't know what to expect. Karen


i'm six weeks post hysterectomy and oophorectomy and i have only started HRT this week. So yes i did/am experience menopausal like symptoms, crikey they're hellish. Night sweats like I'd been swimming and hot flushes (am still experiencing these as i think it will take a few weeks for the HRT to kick in), being well the only way to describe it is a prize b&tch (wasn't too sure if this was cabin fever or menopause), and emotional - crying at Jeremy Kyle WTH.

However like Tes my main reason for taking HRT was to preserve my bones, i too am 42 and as my consultant said "I've put you into the menopause 10 years too early". i have been reading up on alternative therapies and diet to compensate for what's been taken but i believe for the time being oestrogen HRT is what my body needs to get over the initial shock of a surgical induced menopause.

Like Tess this also worried me but in the grand scheme of things I'll do what's needed and after a brief glimpse of what is in store for me i was extremely happy to take the prescription.

Also i would say the sooner you start it after surgery the better, my recovery hasn't been as rapid as i would like and my GP suggested that this also could be due ot the lack of hormones in my body.

Trying to remember to take the little white pill is proving to be problematic and reminds me in an ironic way of trying to remember to take my pill years ago.



I had a radical hysterectomy and had my ovaries 6 weeks ago on today, I also had a micro involvement of 2 of the 28 lymph nodes removed.  I saw the oncologist 3 weeks ago who recommended a course of 25 radiotherapy and 5 chemotherapy which is starting on the 8th of October.  I was given a prescription for HRT and wore them for a few weeks and then I saw the oncologist he said that he was happy for me to use them short term but as there was a chance that they could cause the cancer to re-occcure he said that after the radiotherapy and chemo he would recommend me not to use HRT, he said for every HRT symptom night sweat etc their is a tablet that can stop it, if that makes sense, so I stopped taking them.  


sorry dont know what happened my words are a little jumbled x


Hi Karen,

Microscopic cancer cells were found in two out of the 7 nodes in my parametrial tissue (not the pelvic lymph nodes). Apparently it's very rare for the cancer cells to be found here without them then breaking off and travelling into the pelvic lymph nodes. So I was left with a choice of having additional treatment of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. They call this adjuvant treatment.  My oncologist said that they did not have the data to say whether the extra treatment would decrease my percentage recurrence rate. So the choice was mine and I decided not to have the treatment as for me toxicity and the side effects would outweigh any benefits.  I also recovered really well from the hysterectomy so the last thing I wanted was more treatment.  I’m still surprised today that I feel so good! The oncologist was happy with my decision and I had absolutely no doubt that I made the right decision too. 

As you had a microscopic cell in your actual pelvic lymph node as opposed to just the parametrial tissue nodes your oncologist will be able to give you more guidance on what they think you should do.  I know some people have been advised to have extra treatment and some haven’t.  It really depends on your individual case.  They are the experts so if they think you really need more treatment then they will advise you.   If they give you a choice then you need to weigh up what percent your recurrence rate decreases by and if only a few percent is it worth the significant toxicity?  Though obviously if they had said to me that I had to have more treatment then I would have. 

With regards to follow up, I will have regular scans.  My 1st 3 month check is on the 18th October.  Good luck with your appointment next week.  I really hope you do not need more treatment.  Keep us updated.  Tess xxx

PS. – Pat, sorry, you crying whilst watching Jeremy Kyle really made me laugh......  LaughingTongue Out



Hi all, I've had my appointment and decided not to have any more treatment. The oncologist presented further treatment to me as a done deal but after lots of questions she backed off. The rad/chemo was going to improve my chances by 10% but meant that I wouldn't have rad treatment in my armoury going forward. Also I was told you can only have rad treatment in your pelvis once. I was concerned about the side effects going forwards as I am recovering well and feeling positive. I want to get on with living my life and forget about this horrible cancer. Only time will tell but I'm happy I have done the right thing. Some trusts seem to recommend adjuvant treatment and others don't. My surgeon was happy with my decision. Karen

Hi Karen,

Phew!  I totaly understand your decision not to have any further treatment.  It's great once it's all been confirmed, you can concentrate on the rest of your recovery now.  What did you decide about HRT?

Tess xx



Ladies been a while since i was on here. This may help you. I had a rad hyst in 2007 with micro evidence in lymph tissue. i also refused rads follow up as i felt on discussion the added side effects outweighed the benefits - again my choice and both radiologist and surgeon were happy with that.  since that i have had regular checks and also surgey for a severely prolapsed lumbar disc. in spite of all the above i have now trained for and completed  2 half iron man triathlon races as an individual and 2 as part of a team. ( these events are 2km swim 90km bike ride then 22 km run.) I started out on these as a way to deal with hanging round surgical pain and a mental destress plan - you get so knackered  training the rest goes away!. I am now 48 and having "mental Pause" issues as i call them, the exercise helps keep them at bay a bit i am not on any hrt except for over the counter promensil and evening primrose capsules daily. Like you ladies i just wanted treatment done and to move on, i did just that and more. Now not saying go nuts about the exercise you can well say i went over board on that bit! but hey it worked for me and hopefully my story will give you a hand to  help your journey back to full health.