Women who survive cancer have more frequent, severe, and troubling hot flashes than other women with menopausal symptoms, according to a study published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
But surprisingly, the cancer survivors fare better psychologically and report a better quality of life than the women without cancer and have about the same levels of sexual activity and function.
This is the first large-scale, clinic-based study to compare these groups of women using standard, validated questionnaires. It included 934 cancer survivors (about 90% survived breast cancer) and 155 participants without cancer who were patients at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Western Australia. The questionnaires, including the Green Climacteric Scale and Fallowfield's Sexual Activity Questionnaire, assessed hot flashes and other menopause-related symptoms and sexual function.
For the cancer survivors, hot flashes were much more frequent and severe. Seventy-six percent reported having hot flashes in the past 24 hours, compared with 54% of women without cancer. And 60% reported those hot flashes were severe or very severe, compared with 40% of the women without cancer. The authors pointed out that menopausal symptoms also seem to persist much longer in the cancer survivors, who often complained of menopausal symptoms many years after their cancer diagnosis.
But the study also offered some surprising findings: The cancer survivors were less troubled by psychological and physical symptoms and reported better quality of life than the women without cancer. In fact, the cancer survivors were less likely to have severe mood swings or sadness and reported significantly better social and family well-being. In addition, the cancer survivors had about the same levels of sexual activity and function, and just about as many (49%) reported severe vaginal dryness as women without cancer (47%). However, the survivors were more likely to attribute their sexual inactivity to "a physical problem that makes sexual relations difficult or uncomfortable."
That this study included women who may have undergone cancer therapy years before could help account for some of the surprising findings, say the authors. The cancer survivors' better emotional and social well-being may be the result of the good social and psychological support available for cancer survivors. Their similar rate of sexual problems did not mean the cancer survivors fared well—the rates were high in both groups.
NAMS Executive Director Margery Gass, MD, comments, "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."
Supported by King Edward Memorial Hospital, AstraZeneca, the National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Center, and the National Breast Cancer Foundation of Australia, the study will be published in the March 2014 print edition of Menopause.
Founded in 1989, The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) is North America's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the health and quality of life of all women during midlife and beyond through an understanding of menopause and healthy aging. Its multidisciplinary membership of 2,000 leaders in the field—including clinical and basic science experts from medicine, nursing, sociology, psychology, nutrition, anthropology, epidemiology, pharmacy, and education—makes NAMS uniquely qualified to serve as the definitive resource for health professionals and the public for accurate, unbiased information about menopause and healthy aging. To learn more about NAMS, visit http://www.menopause.org.
Eileen Petridis | EurekAlert!
On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern
Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
18.01.2017 | Life Sciences