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Menopausal hot flushes after breast cancer

By D.R. Fenlon, J.L. Corner and J. Haviland

Abstract

The study aimed to improve understanding of the natural history and impact of hot flushes after breast cancer.<br/>Data were collected from women participating in an RCT of relaxation to reduce the incidence of flushes from breast cancer follow-up clinics from two hospitals in South-East England. Repondents were 150 women experiencing hot flushes following completion of primary treatment for breast cancer. This study utilized a flush diary, the Hot Flushes and Night Sweats Questionnaire (HFNSQ), Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy with Endocrine Subscale (FACT-ES) and Spielberger State/Trait Anxiety Index (STAI) as the main outcome measures. The study found that in this sample, 51 (34%) women experienced flushes more than five<br/>years after diagnosis and 75 (50%) more than 5 years after menopause. Sleep disruption occurred in 90 women (72% of those that returned diaries), affecting half of the nights they recorded. The mean problem rating on the HFNSQ was 4.85 out of 10. A peak incidence of flushes was apparent around 10 a.m. in women taking tamoxifen. It was concluded that hot flushes after breast cancer may be long-lasting and cause sleeping difficulties for many women. Tamoxifen may affect the diurnal pattern of flushes. After breast cancer, the duration of flushes, potential distress and disruption to women’s lives should not be underestimated and appropriate interventions should be offered

Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.soton.ac.uk:154067
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

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