Newson Health Menopause Society establishes a breast cancer working group
Newson Health Menopause Society establishes a breast cancer working group of multidisciplinary cancer experts including oncologists, breast surgeons, breast care nurses, menopause specialists and patients to improve guidance on treating menopausal women with a history of breast cancer.
“It’s no good making people better if they don’t feel better” – Dr Robert Buckman
Women are now living longer after breast cancer but they are still struggling to get help for their debilitating menopausal symptoms. Many women find that when their cancer treatments lead to severe menopausal symptoms, the range of treatment options are not fully discussed by their cancer care team and women feel HRT and other hormonal treatments are dismissed immediately by their clinicians.
By creating this breast cancer working group, NHMS seeks to raise awareness for healthcare professionals on what the evidence shows about breast cancer and HRT and vaginal hormonal treatments. The work that will arise from this group of experts will also help empower women to know that options are available for them and to encourage them to ask the right questions to their healthcare team, so a shared decision-making process is made central to consultations around menopause treatments and breast cancer. Ultimately, the NHMS breast cancer working group aims to reduce suffering and improve the future health of women with a history of breast cancer.
The working group brings together an international collaboration of women with a personal experience of breast cancer, medical oncologists, menopause specialists, breast surgeons, consultant radiologists, sexual health physicians, breast cancer nurses, obstetrician & gynaecologists, endocrinologists and GPs with a specialist interest in menopause.
The group’s first task has been to review the available evidence and you will see that a number of articles have been published following the May/June 2022 Volume 28 – Issue 3, Cancer Journal with an introduction from the guest editor and NHMS breast cancer working group member, Dr Avrum Bluming.
Dr Sarah Glynne, GP with a specialist interest in menopause, has taken on the task of widening this literature review to feed into the development of a consensus statement to support prescribing in breast cancer survivors using the Delphi Technique. The process reflects opinion drafted by content experts for which consensus is sought using explicit methodology (Delphi method) to identify areas of agreement and disagreement. This method is appropriate when there is lack of agreement, incomplete knowledge or lack of evidence. This method is seen as an opportunity to improve patient care and clinical outcomes, and this is being actively worked on over the coming months.
We look forward to sharing the outputs of this unique breast cancer working group with you all in the autumn.
“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years” – Abraham Lincoln