Hot flashes may not be managed adequately in patients treated for breast cancer

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According to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Southampton in Southampton, United Kingdom, hot flashes experienced by women who have been treated for breast cancer are not being sufficiently addressed by clinicians and some of those women contemplate discontinuing estrogen receptor antagonists in order to stop the hot flashes.

The researchers sought to investigate the disparities between the symptoms the patient experiences and what the clinician recognized and manages. They conducted two surveys with physicians and their patients being treated for breast cancer. Of the physicians surveyed, 94% agreed that hot flashes are not managed adequately. Of the 666 women who were surveyed, 94% experienced hot flashes and 75% said they were a major issue in their life.

Only 25% reported speaking to a health care professional about their hot flashes. Furthermore, about one-third of women who experienced hot flashed contemplated discontinuing their medication to prevent the hot flashes from continuing to occur.

The findings suggest that hot flashes are not being managed adequately by physicians and patients should be encouraged to talk with their physician if they experience hot flashes.

For patients with breast cancer in one breast, many are satisfied with opting for double mastectomy
Hot flashes are not being sufficiently addressed by clinicians.

Hot flushes are one of the most distressing conditions faced by women who have been treated for breast cancer, but they are not being adequately addressed by healthcare professionals and some women consider giving up their post cancer medication to try and stop them, a new study by the University of Southampton has shown.

More than 70 per cent of women who have had breast cancer experience menopausal problems, and hot flushes in particular, which are among the most prevalent and potentially distressing problems following breast cancer treatment. These can also be long lasting, persisting for more than five years once cancer treatment has ended and affecting all aspects of life, including sleep, social situations, intimate relationships and ability to work.

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