Safety of hormone replacement therapy following risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy: systematic review of literature and guidelines

R. F. M. Vermeulen, C. M. Korse, G. G. Kenter, M. M. A. Brood-van Zanten, M. van Beurden

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Women at high risk to develop ovarian cancer opt for risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy (RRSO) to reduce the risk by 80-96%. RRSO leads to a direct onset of menopause in premenopausal women. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can be used to mitigate menopausal symptoms after RRSO. However, it is unclear whether HRT in these women is safe in terms of breast cancer (BC) risk. Methods: We performed a literature search and investigated national guidelines on the use of HRT following RRSO in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers. We analyzed differences and similarities between the guidelines and describe what these guidelines were based upon. Results: Seven articles regarding HRT following RRSO in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers were identified. None of the included studies yielded any evidence that short-term use of HRT following RRSO increases the risk of developing BC or negates the protective effect of RRSO in BRCA1/2 mutation carriers without a personal history of BC. Eleven national guidelines were found and described. Conclusion: Short-term use of HRT after RRSO seems to be safe. The literature is more favorable toward estrogen alone. The ideal dosage and duration of use are unknown and remain to be investigated in future studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-360
Number of pages9
JournalClimacteric : the journal of the International Menopause Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • BRCA
  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer screening
  • Guidelines
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Menopause
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy

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