28 Oct 2020

Taking HRT after breast cancer with the BBC's Kirsty Lang

Kirsty Lang is a BBC Radio broadcaster and freelance journalist. In 2016 she was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. She was 53 and had been on HRT for three years after suffering from frequent hot flushes, mood swings, weight gain, night sweats and insomnia. The moment she was diagnosed, the surgeon advised her to cease HRT. 

In the two years that followed, Kirsty’s menopausal symptoms returned with a vengeance. 

She had survived breast cancer but at a huge cost to the quality of her life. 

After attending a lecture given by the eminent American oncologist Dr Avrum Bluming, Kirsty went back to her surgeon and oncologist and persuaded them she should resume HRT while continuing to take Tamoxifen, a drug which blocks the hormone receptors on cancer cells. 

We spoke to Kirsty about her experiences with breast cancer and how she arrived at her decision to resume taking HRT for her menopause symptoms:

Watch the full interview here:

No Title

Katie Taylor talks to BBC radio broadcaster and freelance journalist Kirsty Lang about her Breast Cancer diagnosis & treatment and her experience with menopause and HRT.

In Kirsty’s own words: "Part of it is having the courage to take the decision yourself... about what's right for you and what makes you feel better.

For me, I felt my life was too miserable off HRT, and you know what, I just felt deep inside that it wasn't doing me any good [not taking HRT].”

Our interview with Kirsty was part of our series of talks for Menopause Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Catch up on all the events with speakers such as TV presenter Andrea McLean, campaigner Diane Danzebrink, world-leading oncologist Dr Avrum Bluming and more.

Find out more about Kirsty’s decision:

Here is a list of further helpful resources on the topics that Kirsty mentions in the video:

  • The benefits and risks of HRT with Dr Avrum Bluming: Video highlights from the recent talk Dr Avrum Bluming gave to The Latte Lounge, where he discussed perimenopause, menopause, HRT and the links with breast cancer, heart health, osteoporosis and Alzheimers.
  • ‘Oestrogen Matters’ - the ground-breaking and bestselling book by Dr Avrum Bluming.
  • TARGIT treatment - the new type of radiotherapy that only requires one dose in one hospital visit of 20-30 minutes instead of multiple treatments. (You can also watch our Royal Society conference where TARGIT is discussed)
  • Choosing HRT after cancer - a doctor’s first-hand perspective. Doctor Tina Peers shares her story about being diagnosed with breast cancer and then choosing to take HR. (please note this is currently only available to watch on Instagram).
  • Royal Society Conference on Breast Cancer organised by The Latte Lounge  Pink Ribbon and Europa Donna - presentations on breast cancer, menopause, HRT and mammograms, chaired by Kirsty Lang, featuring Dr Avrum Bluming, Katie Taylor & her father Professor Michael Baum, Dr Louise Newson, Diane Danzebrink and more. All the videos are available here.

Are you considering if HRT in the UK is the right choice for you? With numerous treatment options available for the perimenopause and menopause, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

Read our guide on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), a treatment that can help to alleviate menopause symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.

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