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Cancer Increases Risk for Severe Menopause Symptoms in Women

Cancer Increases Risk for Severe Menopause
Cancer Increases Risk for Severe Menopause

Cancer survivors were twice as likely to experience severe menopausal symptoms compared to women who have not had cancer. These data were collected as part of a research study conducted in Melbourne, Australia. It was a sizable study, too, which included 151,000 Australian women who were cancer survivors (more than 1/3 of them having had breast cancer).

The study included surveys to determine the severity of a range of factors, including menopausal symptoms and their effects on the women’s quality of life and sexual functioning. These surveys found that cancer survivors had twice the incidence of hot flashes (averaging 6 every 24 hours) and were twice as likely than the non-cancer patients to report severe or very severe flushes.

It was also of interest to note that cancer survivors were less bothered by symptoms of anxiety and depression than the women among the general population who were experiencing menopause and seeking relief from their menopausal side effects. The study was published online in the July 22, 2013, issue of Menopause.

What are your thoughts about why these findings are what they are? I was speaking about this study with a friend who’s a survivor, and she said she believes it’s because breast cancer survivors are so thankful to be alive that they aren’t going to “sweat the small stuff,” even when the sweat in this case is caused by menopause!

What do you think?


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