-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer survivors have more
frequent and severe menopausal hot flashes than other women, a new
But the researchers also found that cancer survivors coped
better with menopausal symptoms and reported a better quality of
life than other women, and had similar levels of sexual activity
The study included 934 female cancer survivors (about 90 percent
survived breast cancer) and 155 cancer-free women in Australia who
were assessed for hot flashes and other menopause-related symptoms
and sexual function.
Seventy-six percent of the cancer survivors reported having hot
flashes in the past 24 hours, compared with 54 percent of the
cancer-free women. Sixty percent of the cancer survivors said their
hot flashes were severe or very severe, compared with 40 percent of
the cancer-free women.
Menopausal symptoms also seemed to persist longer in the cancer
survivors, according to the study published online July 17 in the
But the investigators also found that the cancer survivors were
less troubled by mental and physical symptoms of menopause, and
reported a better quality of life than the cancer-free women. The
cancer survivors were less likely to have severe mood swings or
sadness, and had much better social and family well-being.
The cancer survivors and cancer-free women had about the same
levels of sexual activity and function, and about the same number
in both groups reported severe vaginal dryness (49 percent of
cancer survivors and 47 of cancer-free women).
The cancer survivors' better emotional and social well-being
during menopause may be the result of the good social and
psychological support available for cancer survivors, the study
"Both expected and surprising, these results highlight that all menopausal women, including cancer survivors, need effective treatment options for their hot flashes and sexual symptoms," Dr. Margery Gass, executive director of the North American Menopause Society, said in a society news release.
The U.S. Office on Women's Health has more about
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