How can I help women who have had breast cancer?

When a woman gets a diagnosis of breast cancer life saving treatment is understandably prioritised. Very often treatment can cause symptoms which significantly impact quality of life. That’s where I want to help.

Younger pre menopausal women may have an early menopause as a result of surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy to treat their cancer. In all age groups, improved survival is largely due to long term therapies which reduce estrogen levels or block its action. This can induce, exacerbate or cause a resurgence of menopausal symptoms, which can be sufficiently severe as to risk discontinuation of potentially life saving treatment.

Treatment of flushes and vaginal symptoms may be problematic as hormone replacement therapy is contra-indicated in women with estrogen responsive breast cancer. The availability of alternatives is not widely appreciated . For effective care women need the opportunity to have an informed discussion with a clinician about the reasons for symptom development, their likely duration and advice about potential interventions. For many women improved understanding can be beneficial in itself however, these discussions may be difficult if the clinician has little knowledge concerning the management of menopause symptoms for breast cancer patients. 

Other complex issues for women with breast cancer may include diagnosis of early menopause, counselling regarding bone health, contraception, future fertility and psychosexual issues. It is easy to overlook all of the above while prioritising life saving measures. 

Through Wight Menopause, I want to help this increasingly large group of women to improve their quality of life. In addition to counselling about lifestyle and non-hormonal medication I shall be offering cognitive behavioural therapy for management of hot flushes and night sweats. My approach is evidence based drawing on good quality trials. I hope it will be helpful not only to the women with breast cancer but also for other women who are keen to avoid hormones or who have hard to control flushes. 

I can offer help via face to face or video consultations. Please contact me via the Contact button on the home page of my website.

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