With the rectal exam, I was taught that a rectovaginal exam is mandatory in postmenopausal ladies because sometimes it can detect ovarian cancer.
Another approach is to use an anti-estrogen drug like tamoxifen preventively in postmenopausal women whose histories of breast problems indicate that they are at high risk of developing cancer; I am involved in a study that is examining this kind of treatment.
"Hormone replacement therapy, also known as postmenopausal hormone therapy (PHT), definitely increases your [breast cancer] risk," says Julie R. Gralow, MD, the director of breast medical oncology at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
The STRAW terminology folks actually wants to make "postmenopausal" mean any time after the final menstrual period, but we can't really date that till we know it's final - which means 12 months later.
This multisite, one-CRO advantage also extends to special population needs, such as postmenopausal females.