Hot Flash Treatments
One of the "minor inconveniences" of breast cancer treatment is often hot flashes. Although they seem minor, to our doctors at least, in comparison with hair loss and possible hideous nausea and the risks of surgery, they can be tremendously uncomfortable, inconvenient, exhausting, and embarrassing. Since many of the commonly suggested treatments involve the use of estrogen-containing products, women with breast cancer have fewer options. The guru of this problem is Dr Charles L. Loprinzi (http://www.mayoclinic.org/bio/10417010.html) at the Mayo Clinic. If you click that link, it will take you to a page where you can click again for a list of his publications. He has done many studies and has lots of ideas. The bottom line, however, is that there is no single treatment that works for all women indefinitely.
At any rate, here is an excerpt from a short article from Medical News Today about various non-hormonal treatments that can be helpful for hot flashes. After the excerpt, there is a link to read more:
Many women enduring hot flashes experience the heat, sweat and reddened upper body as an uncomfortable inconvenience. However, hot flashes can greatly diminish a woman's quality of life, disrupting sleep at night or causing embarrassment as she goes about her daily business.
Hot flashes, called flushes in medical circles, occur commonly in women with a history of breast cancer. The problem arises naturally in these women because of menopause; because of various treatments, such as the drugs tamoxifen and aromatase; and because of chemotherapy.
A new Cochrane review finds that a variety of non-hormonal treatments (mostly non-hormonal drugs) can offer women who have had breast cancer some relief from hot flashes. Side effects are frequent, however, and must weigh into any decisions to use the interventions. Researchers in Chile analyzed 16 studies including 1,461 women and found that several different non-hormonal drugs and one non-drug treatment - relaxation therapy - might help relieve symptoms.
The review was published by The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic. Non-hormonal therapies included medications and complementary type interventions that do not appear to alter a woman's hormonal state. For this reason, several "holistic" remedies such as black cohosh and phytoestrogens do not qualify as non-hormonal because they might alter a woman's hormonal balance.
Article URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/200293.php