Menopause after cancer

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Can Cancer Treatment Advance Menopause?

Some of the cancer treatment can cause ovarian failure and cause the beginning of menopause.

There is no way predict how menopause will affect each woman. It is difficult to tell if the symptoms a woman is experiencing are "normal" menopausal symptoms or if they are made worse by the cancer and / or its treatment.

For some women treated for cancer, the symptoms of menopause can be temporary or permanent.

This will depend on the age of the woman, the type, the dose and the time that the treatment is used to fight the cancer. Sometimes the periods will stop immediately and the symptoms of menopause will start immediately or take a while to appear.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, so much of the research on cancer and menopause is related to breast cancer.

So it seems that:

  • 80% of women with breast cancer experience more severe and frequent hot flashes than women without breast cancer.
  • 50-75% of women with breast cancer experience more urinogenital symptoms such as vaginal dryness, itching, pain during sex, or urinary tract infections.
  • a higher proportion of women with breast cancer suffer from depression and anxiety, which could be related to the diagnosis of a serious illness.

How to treat the symptoms of menopause in women with cancer?

Managing menopause in women with cancer involves:

  • Healthy life
    • Healthy diet. A diet rich in fresh foods can help you deal with the symptoms of menopause.
    • Physical activity. Some exercise is recommended for at least 30 minutes a day to help reduce stress and improve mood. This also helps to deal with the symptoms of menopause.
  • Natural therapies

Many women with cancer cannot use hormone replacement therapy, so some alternative treatments can sometimes be safe and effective for menopausal symptoms.

Since many times there is not enough research on alternative therapies, and to avoid possible side effects and interactions with some medications, it is always necessary to consult with the doctor.

  • Psychological Support

Relaxation skills training can help you deal with stress and the severity of menopausal symptoms.

  • Medication

Women who cannot use hormone-based treatments for menopausal symptoms are sometimes prescribed a group of antidepressants called serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs / SNRIs) that appear to be effective in reducing blood pressure. hot flushes.

They must always be prescribed by a doctor.

Video: Marcia Stefanick, PhD, Talks About Menopausal Hormone Therapy


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