Postmenopausal breast cancer survivors often have urogenital atrophy adversely affecting their quality of life. Symptoms of atrophic vaginitis include: vaginal irritation, dyspareunia, postcoital bleeding, and increased susceptibility to vaginal infections. Endocrine breast cancer therapies further decrease estrogen levels, exacerbating these symptoms. Current non-hormonal vaginal therapies used first-line are often given with vague instructions, or not given at all. Hormonal therapies including estrogen and progesterone may increase the risk of recurrence and are therefore rarely used. This scenario results in breast cancer patients not having resolution of their atrophic vaginitis symptoms. There is a lack of data for atrophic vaginitis symptoms reported by patients and treatments employed in this population of breast cancer survivors. Therefore, we conducted a pilot study of urogenital symptoms in breast cancer survivors.
This is prevalence, cross-sectional study of female patients from the Breast Survivorship Clinic in the Cancer Prevention Center at the UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Patients included in this study are women with a history of invasive breast cancer and are greater than five years after treatment; women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) are at least six months after treatment.
Approximately 1000 individual patient's charts (over 4,800 clinic visits) were available for review during the time frame studied (July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011). Two predefined age groups will be evaluated (<60, 60–75), focusing on the patients younger than 60 years of age.
Taking the information from the chart review, we will present the number of breast cancer female patients reporting symptoms of atrophic vaginitis. We will also report the percent of patients with symptoms who actually get treatment and the types of treatment recommended and prescribed.
Citation Information: Cancer Prev Res 2011;4(10 Suppl):B26.