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Menopause and Cancer

Posted 7/28/2016

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  It is rather amazing how little most women know about menopause until they get there. It is a completely natural part of life that is rarely discussed except by women of a certain age. Unless you have cancer and a treatment that plunges you into premature menopause: surgery, many chemotherapy drugs, hormonal therapies or ovarian suppression drugs. This happened to me when I was 44, and I was completely unprepared to be the first one of my friends to go through the experience.

  It is my non-doctor observation that surgically or chemically induced menopause may also hit with a ferocious intensity beyond that of most natural menopauses. It  is as if the symptoms that would have been naturally spaced over months or even years appear instead in one giant tidal wave...that keeps rolling.

  There are also some cancers that are more likely to occur post menopause.

  This is from Cancer Net:

Menopause and Cancer Risk

During natural menopause, the body’s production of estrogen and progesterone hormones decreases. This causes irregular
menstrual periods that eventually stop. Women generally start menopause around age 50, but there it may often start earlier or later.
For women with cancer, menopause may begin earlier if treatments cause the ovaries to stop working. This is called premature
menopause. Learn more about long-term side effects of cancer treatment.
Menopausal symptoms:
Hot flashes
Night sweats
Vaginal dryness
Painful sexual intercourse
Decreased sex drive
Osteoporosis, which makes bones weak and fragile
Bladder control difficulties
Mood swings and irritability
Depression and/or anxiety
Sleeping problems, also called insomnia
Irregular or heavy menstruation
Weight gain
Hair loss
Food cravings
Fuzzy thinking or forgetfulness

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