Published on May 15, 2005 at 10:41 AM
As many as three out of four women in the United States experience hot flashes during menopause. Hot flashes occur in women with varying frequency and severity, causing frequent sleep interruptions that can affect a woman's mood or overall health. Certain surgical or medical treatments for cancer can cause menopause to begin earlier and more suddenly than it would normally occur; so, many women undergoing treatment for cancer must also cope with hot flashes.
Researchers say that hot flashes appear to be triggered by changes in a woman's brain chemistry that result from decreased estrogen levels as she approaches menopause.
There are other non-estrogenic treatments for hot flashes that researchers have identified that do work. Women and their physicians should talk about what treatment options are available and what might work best with the individual patient, says Dr Pockaj. DISCLOSURE: This trial was sponsored by a grant from the National Cancer Institute and conducted by a network of researchers led by the NCCTG. Drug supply for the study was provided by Hi Health. Based at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., NCCTG is a national clinical research group sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. NCCTG is a network of more than 400 community-based cancer treatment clinics in the United States, Canada and Mexico that work with Mayo Clinic to conduct clinical studies for advancing cancer treatment.