Coming off HRT

Hi all. Was diagnosed a week ago with  cancer in both breasts . Three areas - each one  a different type. One of them is oestrogen receptive. Consultant today advised me to stop HRT immediately. I totally understand why but am a bit worried about going “cold turkey”. Just wondering if anyone else has experience of this? Concerned about side effects if I stop suddenly.

  • I’m sorry to hear you’ve been diagnosed too. I also had to stop HRT.. I initially cut it in half for a week and then halved it again before getting panicked that I was feeding it. I stopped over about 3 weeks. I am sure I wasn’t supposed to do this but it helped me to cope. I really struggled  with sleep for a couple of weeks and pretty emotional - I feel it made coming to terms with the diagnosis a bit more challenging. But we got through it and inevitably I have some symptoms returned that I’m trying to find positive ways to manage, and doing much better than feared. Exercise, nutrition and rest all good. And just about every type of moisturiser under the sun! Good luck. . Sending hugs xx

  • Thank you so much- that’s really helpful. I’ve been on HRT for ages and it has been brilliant for me so was really concerned about  stopping it. Think I’ll do the same as you and half my tablet for a few weeks and see how it goes. Have tried to get an appointment with my GP but they can’t see me for three  weeks and I don’t want to wait that long before I start cutting down. Will post an update soon! Thank you again and sending hugs to you too xxx

  • I also had to stop HRT and removed the patches straight away. I was quite surprised how good I felt until, I then had my coil removed! This worked well together with the patches, but when coil was removed I had a massive crash in emotions the following week! Luckily only lasted a week and back to normal. So if your able to stop it gradually then it should be ok x x x 

  • That was my main worry - the effect on my emotions when I’m already feeling pretty fragile. Guess I just have to go for it and deal with whatever comes along. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me xxx

  • You will be ok x we are made of strong stuff. It’s just another hurdle to cross. I think it’s the emotional side that hits us really hard and the forever thinking and never switching off. But we will all get there x x x 

  • Hello Lalmcl,  oh I know that feeling of having to stop HRT.  I had been on it for years too in fact 16 years.  Felt great and had been taking pellet therapy for the last 5 years prior to diagnosis.  I had my last pellets in August 2021 and was diagnosed in September 2021 so I felt hormonally balanced for about 4 months.  There was nothing I could do as I had taken pellets.  I was diagnosed with DCIS in one breast and stage 1 invasive cancer in the other .  My breast surgeon told me that I could never take hormones again as my cancer was estrogen positive.  I worried for awhile about the hormones but it was the way it was.  I do miss HRT still as now on aromatase inhibitors which really drain the estrogen.  I often think that the HRT was almost like an addiction as every time I thought about stopping I would feel awful and hurry to go back on.  
    Sorry I can’t give you advice about weaning as my situation was different.  I wish you the best.  I feel really good now.  Had 2 lumpectomies, radiation and now hormone blockers and grateful .

    Hugs to you. 


  • Thank you. I know  you’re right and I’m finding it so helpful to read such positive messages on this forum. Xxx

  • Thank you Barbara. I can really relate to all you’re saying about HRT almost being addictive - it’s like a comfort blanket that keeps me on an even keel even when things are tough. Just got to steel myself to come off it and deal with any effects as they arise. So glad you’re feeling really good now. - long may that last!
    Sending a hug to you xxx

  • My first visit with the surgeon was stressful as I knew I had to stop my HRT and I was very sad because it made me feel good.  I remember he said it wasn’t the fountain of youth but I wanted to say it really helps with so many things.  Especially sleeping issues as that was my biggest issue.  Also my bone density was great and he did admit that the HRT was what helped that as I am small boned and a lightweight too.  
    It is really amazing what we can do when we decide what needs to be done and we just do it.  I am older so it is not the same as young women who need to go on meds and then ovarian suppression.  Now that is really hard so I cannot complain.  
    So just keep moving forward and you will get where you need to be.  I really like Liz O’Reardon,MD who was a breast cancer surgeon and got breast cancer.  She has a YouTube channel and I have watched so many episodes as they are all educational and she is personable too.  She has a good one on hrt.

    Hugs to you too.



  • I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis and the hard decisions you have to make following a diagnosis. Although May not the same, I had the mirena coil when diagnosed in September. I was advised to have it removed immediately. I was on it to control heavy periods that left me debilitated for the most part so the thought of going back to those experiences was terrifying. What gave me strength to have it removed was the knowledge that the coil was in fact feeding the cancer! I also thought- I’m already all over the place with a cancer diagnosis, surely it can’t get any worse?