Managing menopause treatment for cancer patients


Professor Donal Brennan, Professor of Gynaecological Oncology, UCD School of Medicine; consultant gynaecological oncologist, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, principal investigator, Precision Oncology Ireland and Fellow, UCD Conway Institute has published a featured review on menopause treatment for cancer patients in this week’s issue of the high-impact journal, The Lancet

“Managing Menopause After Cancer,” from Brennan and colleagues identifies the impact of early menopause and the severity of menopausal symptoms in cancer survivors, providing evidence-based recommendations from the current literature toward implementing a more personalised and multidisciplinary approach in treatment of menopause symptoms after cancer. The review looks at a number of factors including patient cancer types, age, socioeconomic status and cultural practices at play. 

A portrait photo of Donal Brennan
Professor Donal Brennan

“Patients have repeatedly highlighted the burden of menopause symptoms after cancer treatment. They feel that these are often minimised or in some cases ignored,” said Brennan. “We hope that this paper will provide a summary of evidence-based approaches to treat menopause symptoms, including the use of HRT if indicated and more importantly stimulate more research in this area.”

The article comes at an important juncture in cancer research where cancer survivorship is improving, but the long-term effects of treatment and quality of life issues are coming to the fore.

The review specifically looks at long-term effects of cancer treatment such as premature ovarian insufficiency and early menopause. The symptoms of these can be significantly challenging to patients as they may be more severe than the symptoms of natural menopause.

Brennan and colleagues give a comprehensive view of the current hormonal and non-hormonal therapy options studied and suggest a framework for more cost-effective and patient-focused models of care to meet the needs of a growing population of cancer survivors.

The paper is available online:

Journal citation: Managing menopause after cancer. Prof Martha Hickey, MBChB MD; Partha Basu, MD; Jenifer Sassarini, MBChB PhD; Mariken E Stegmann, MD PhD; Elisabete Weiderpass, MD PhD;Karen Nakawala Chilowa; Prof Cheng-Har Yip, MD; Prof Ann H Partridge, MD MPH; Prof Donal J Brennan, MB PhD. The Lancet March 09, 2024 DOI: