Managing Early Menopause
Early menopause is one of the extra "benefits" of many breast cancer treatments. Most women in their early 40s or older have their menses permanantly shut down by chemotherapy. The hormonal treatments (Tamoxifen for younger women) can do this too, and some very young women also receive monthly injections to stop their ovaries' production of estrogen. This was my experience when I first received chemotherapy at age 44, and it was rather shocking to enter middle age (maybe kidding myself there and should actually say older age) so suddenly. What I have observed and learned from hundreds of women is that this sudden chemically-induced menopause seems to bring on symptoms in an intense rush. Since we didn't get to experience it the natural way, there isn't really a comparison--but it surely seemed compacted into a strong package. For most women, the big issue is hot flashes although there certainly are other concerns: skin changes, body shape changes (think pear), sexuality.
This is an excellent interview from Living Beyond Breast Cancer. I give you the beginning and then a link:
Managing Early Menopause
Ann Honebrink, MD, FACOG
COURTNEY BUGLER: Welcome, everyone. My name is Courtney Bugler. I'm the executive director of the Atlanta affiliate for Young Survival Coalition. I have also been in menopause since I was 30 years old, so pretty excited about that. (Laughter)
Just in case you're looking for more information, you can of course go to our conference website, C4YW. Remember, as people have been saying in other workshops, that there will be audio and/or written transcripts of this workshop. It's going to be recorded. Look for those on the conference website, and if you're looking for more information, you can of course go to Living Beyond Breast Cancer's website, lbbc.org, or YSC's website.
If you guys have any concerns or issues while the workshop is going on, you can just raise your hand, or if you can't hear anything, just let us know.
At this point I'd like to just introduce our speaker. This is Dr. Ann Honebrink. She is a board-certified OB/GYN. She's an associate professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Pennsylvania and the medical director at the Penn Health for Women at Radnor, which is a multi- disciplinary program providing care for women of all ages. Her clinical practice focuses on gynecology, and she has a particular interest in the care of women during and after menopause. Her practice includes many breast cancer sur- vivors.
Breast cancer treatments like chemotherapy and ovarian suppression can cause you to enter menopause early. Discover ways to manage and minimize the disruptive side effects of early onset menopause, and walk away with practical tips for improving your quality of life.
Download the Transcript:
LBBCYoungMenopausal11.pdf 292.08 kB PDF File
Download the Podcast:
Managing Early Menopause - Florida A.mp3 17.14 MB MP3 File
Have personal or specific cancer questions that you would like me to answer? Then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll respond on my Ask Hester blog: