Researchers test secret herb to stop hot flushes associated with breast cancer

Researchers at the University of Manchester are testing a secret herb in a bid to stop the severe hot flushes that besiege breast cancer patients on hormone treatment.

Professor Alex Molassiotis, of the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, says the herb - one of the mint family, found in any kitchen - is thought to stop the hot flushes and night sweats which can be so bad that some women have to change their clothes three or four times a night.

It is traditionally used by Mediterranean women undergoing the menopause, but Professor Molassiotis cannot name it as he and his team are carrying out a double blind trial (neither the patient nor the doctor is allowed to know whether they are in the group taking the herb or a placebo).

The women are taking hormone treatment to lower oestrogen and progesterone levels as these affect the growth of some breast cancer cells. This can lead to early or revisiting menopause with symptoms such as anxiety, dry skin, bone thinning and hot flushes, with some women having up to 30 flushes a day. It is too risky for them to take Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) as this will increase the hormone levels again. Instead they are advised to cut out tea, coffee and nicotine, try alternative remedies or a certain type of anti-depressant.

Professor Molassiotis said: "It is hoped that the herbal remedy will be simpler and cheaper to take, as well as more effective, thus improving the lives of women who need all their energy to fight the disease."

He and his team are now recruiting 170 volunteers for the randomized trial, half of whom will take the phytooestrogen herb in the form of a pill and half of whom will take a placebo, from Greater Manchester and Cheshire. Only breast cancer patients who have or are receiving hormone treatments for their cancer are allowed to take part, and only if they experience at least one hot flush a day of moderate and above severity for at least a month. The treatment will be for a total of three months, taking one pill a day. The team will assess the volunteers' hot flushes four times over six months from starting the trial with questionnaires and a blood sample.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    The University of Manchester. (2006, May 03). Researchers test secret herb to stop hot flushes associated with breast cancer. News-Medical. Retrieved on May 26, 2019 from https://www.news-medical.net/news/2006/05/03/17720.aspx.

  • MLA

    The University of Manchester. "Researchers test secret herb to stop hot flushes associated with breast cancer". News-Medical. 26 May 2019. <https://www.news-medical.net/news/2006/05/03/17720.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    The University of Manchester. "Researchers test secret herb to stop hot flushes associated with breast cancer". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/news/2006/05/03/17720.aspx. (accessed May 26, 2019).

  • Harvard

    The University of Manchester. 2006. Researchers test secret herb to stop hot flushes associated with breast cancer. News-Medical, viewed 26 May 2019, https://www.news-medical.net/news/2006/05/03/17720.aspx.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
Post a new comment
Post
You might also like... ×
Breakthrough research could potentially improve detection and treatment of anal cancer