Menopause: The Answer to Breast Cancer?

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Menopause: The Answer to Breast Cancer?

Learn why some women are choosing to induce early menopause – the research findings may surprise you.

Although menopause is a natural process, many women have a sense of dread when they begin to experience symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. So it may come as a surprise as to why some women are electing to induce early menopause. The answer to this phenomenon is that now studies are showing that hormone drug suppressants may prevent breast cancer.

Drug Uses:

These drug suppressants, such as tamoxifen, are commonly used to treat prostate cancer by blocking the male hormone testosterone. By having women take these drugs, it is equivalent to them having their ovaries removed, causing symptoms of early menopause, according to the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

These testosterone inhibiting drugs are used as an alternative to chemotherapy for women who already had surgery to remove tumors located in hormone rich areas and are considered to have a low recurrence. It is also used as a way to prevent women from having periods after temporarily stopping chemotherapy.  Some are calling this cancer treatment “chemopause.”

Benefits:

According to Jack Cuzick at the Wolfson Institute of Preventative Medicine in London, studies reported a lower risk of recurrence of 24% while using tamoxifen verses 29% when receiving chemotherapy. The biggest advantage (other than improving survival) is that the side effects of induced menopause are temporary, which preserves women’s fertility. It should be noted that there are still ongoing studies on the longterm effectiveness and side effects of other types of testosterone inhibiting drugs

Are the benefits of early menopause worth it? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.

 

Written by Katherine Chua

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