My Ovacome

Instant menopause

Ok my wonderful ladies. For those of you who had a total hysterectomy like mine what did you do as far as hormones? I am BRCA 1 positive so my family history plus that makes my chances for breast cancer higher. Are there natural ways to manage the symptoms when they start rather than hormones ? Doctors have not gone over this with me got to start researching

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I was post when I had surgery, I am sure some of the ladies will come up with some thoughts for you but also ask your CNS and your consultant

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I will when I go for my post op appointment

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I was post menopause when diagnosed with OC so can’t really make any recommendations to you. I’m not sure how old you are but that will have some bearing on the next step. I personally was dead against HRT when I started my menopause, it carries its own potential issues as do all drugs and it just delays the menopause but if you’re young then it may be recommended for you for your bone health etc.

I’d speak with your oncologist/surgeon to see what their recommendations are for you. Then you can make an informed decision you feel is the best one for you.

Hope you’re recovering well from the surgery and being kind to you. Take care ❤️Xx Jane

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Thank you. Yes I'm taking it easy and being good to myself. I'm 34 so I will have to do something

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Hi Jess,

I was 38 when I had my surgery and have been menopausal ever since! There was a bit of a conflict of opinion between my oncologist and the onco-gynae surgeon who operated on me. Oncologist was dead against HRT in all circumstances, whereas gynae was OK with it.

The gynae’s view was that HRT brings elevated risks, which for a low-risk individual might be more than they could bear, but for an already high-risk woman, the additional risk was only small in comparison, and therefore worth considering HRT. Does that make sense? I chose not have have HRT and have had a recurrence anyway, so might as well have saved myself the menopausal symptoms along the way (I’m BRCA negative though).

Given your age, you should definitely speak to your medical team and see what they suggest. I don’t know if BRCA makes a difference in terms of what is recommended.

Vicki x

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Me either. This stuff is all so new. Finding out I had cancer at 34 and then things moving so fast lord it has been a whirlwind. They just haven't said anything about what I needed to do afterwards yet but hopefully on my follow up appointment they will give me options

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I hope they can help you too.

Being in your 30s and not even having the menopause on your radar makes it feel really scary. However, one thing I would say is that I don’t much notice/think about it any more. I had my surgery in June 2016, and my menopause symptoms have been quite mild - mainly hot flushes and creaky joints. Night sweats seem to be cyclical, and I wonder if they follow what would have been my normal hormonal fluctuations? I’ll be sweaty for 3/4 nights in a row, then nothing again for a few weeks. My husband might say I am a bit grumpier/short tempered these days 🤔😄

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Yea wasn't expecting it at this point in life but it is what it is. Now I just have to get thru it

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Hey Jess,

I was premenopausal too and was totally anxious about the whole menopause situation! In actual fact I researched myself into a proper state before I had my surgery! Had all sorts of things ready to go! I had night sweats etc during chemo and didn't know if they were chemo related or menopausal........! I am 1.5 years post chemo and almost 2 years after chemo and the menopausal symptoms are very manageable! I have been lucky I suppose as I have read some of the ladies on here describe their experiences. I have some hot flashes but they do not disrupt my life the night sweats are infrequent and very mild! All in all for me it has not been as bad as I thought it would be so maybe it won't hit you too hard either!

I do have osteopenia too which I blame on the chemo but you should talk to your Doc about gettong a bone scan so they have a baseline before you go in to menopause as it can have a negative impact on your bones!!!

There is no doubt that it is total crap to be facing this at your age and I am sorry you find yourself in this situation but hopefully the menopause won't be as bad as you think!

Take Care!

Dx

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Thank you. Didn't know about the bone scan will see what I can do about that. Yes this was not how I pictured the month before my 35 birthday going. And to top it off in great fashion my job had promised they would not fire me and I got to reading my mail last night cause I was in too much pain to sleep and the sent me a nice separation notice for the day after they told me they weren't going to let me go. Isn't that so nice of them? Lol. I guess all you can do is laugh to keep from crying and go on with it

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Seriously Jess,

Can they do that? I live in Ireland and I know that my employer can't do that................. that is just incredibly mean!!!!

D

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Not sure where the Family emergency medical leave falls cause I haven't worked there long I am going to research it and see cause I don't think they could do that either but not sure. Very mean. They did the same thing to a friend of mine years ago at a different branch of the same company we both worked at and she was diagnosed with breast cancer and they dissolved her position

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Jess, Here's a bit of info, of which you may already be aware: HRT has been linked to increased breast, ovarian and colon cancers in post menopausal women. Menopause is a natural occurrence and should not have been "medicalized" to begin with. The medicalization of a natural process is an industry! Follow the money!

Your situation is a bit different due to surgical menopause. Even so, PLEASE investigate how you might relieve any menopausal symptoms via your diet. Here's a link to a recent study which states: "However, a recent analysis combined the results of more than 50 studies, including randomized controlled trials and observational studies. This analysis found that women who took estrogen and progestin (progesterone) after menopause did have an increased risk of getting ovarian cancer. The risk was highest for women taking hormones, and decreased over time after the hormones were stopped."

So, even though your menopause has been medically induced, I would beg you to consider that you may be harmed by HRT.

Link: cancer.org/cancer/cancer-ca...

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That's what I was afraid of. Not of getting OC again but if ending up with breast cancer

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Do please be aware that the majority of studies/ issues etc are based on studies of women age 50+ and at menopausal age / post menopause...

sugical menopause when younger is very different and because of the circumstances of cancer diagnosis, chemo etc it's a complex question. Sx

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Jess, I have now had breast cancer, ovarian cancer and am currently awaiting biopsy results for colon cancer! I am brca negative. In my wildest nightmare, it never occurred to me that I could even get cancer twice, let alone three times! Please, continue your due diligence and realize that medicine is an industry generating billions in the US alone. Another way to look at this is: Western Medicine, as practiced in the US, is a legalized drug distribution channel designed for profit. That's not a bad thing but the system incentivizes for many different behaviors, claims and results. So, you, as a consumer, need to be aware of the economics of your patient dollars and who profits from your care or not. Love to you. ❤

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Thank you. I will always keep on top of health after all this.

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Your consultant should be able to explain the potential benefits and potential risks with both early surgical menopause and treatments... Most tumours are routinely tested for oestrogen sensitivity which may be relevent.. the Dexa bone scan is important to raise as bones and heart can be affected by early menopause. You are an individual and your medical team will need to weigh up with you what is right for you (this will include your age, health, tumour type etc etc). In some circumstances the balance can favour HRT

You can use the search box above & will find lots of great tips & discussions about what might help though! and if you havent already found it theres a great guide specifically for younger women with ovarian cancer which you can download from the main UK charities: Target Ovarian Cancer, Ask Eve, Ovarian Cancer Action & Ovacome

Very best wishes, Sx

PS Your employer really is a total s**t!

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Thank you

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Hi Jess. I had my operation in November last year. At 39 I was not even peri-menopausal. My hot flushes started the night of my operation but it took me a couple of days to work out that’s what it was! I was shocked at the lack of importance placed on this by my surgeon. It wasn’t discussed at all yet I found the menopausal symptoms to be worse than the chemo. My oncologist allowed me to go into HRT (patches) after my chemo finished (as he said the chemo increased my risk blood clots when combined with chemo) and these have helped a lot with the sweats. Not so sure about the mood swings lol.

Please be cautious with “natural” remedies. Many foods and so-called natural remedies contain plant-based estrogen (phyto-estrogens) and these are not recommended if you have estrogen dependent disease. I tried acupuncture which some people say helps with their hot flushes etc. it didn’t help with mine. I’m more worried about long term effects eg osteoporosis, cardiac disease etc. From what I have read the increased risk of breast cancer in women using HRT was related to menopausal women with a functioning uterus and ovaries being treated with estrogen without progesterone and has recently been disproven with robust research.

Regardless, you must follow the advice of your treating team esp if your tumour is hormone receptive. As Sunfleury said, your team are the specialists here. Their advice is crucial, even if you have to push them for answers. But I know how hard it is to ignore google at 2am. I do get it, honestly. Good luck, Kirsty.

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Thank you so much. Yes it really is hard not to try and look up everything under the sun lol. I don't really have a team. Where I'm from no one wants to touch cancer patients. They sent me two hours away to a GYN ONC who only worried about the surgery. All the other stuff doesn't concern him so can't get any answers there and with the local doctors I'm not sure who I am supposed to talk to but I will figure it out and go from there. I worry about the heart disease the most because that also runs in the family anyway so I don't need increase risks. But I have to say I didn't expect to have the hot flashes start this soon either. The surgeon said I would have a couple weeks before my body realized I was in surgical menopause and could get on meds before then but whew they started fast lol. But I will take that over the cancer still having a chance to come back any day

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Hi Jess. I had a nurse say to me the menopause began immediately and it was always bad becuase the body went into estrogen-depleted shock. I know what you mean about the surgeon. Mine is part of a wider team but he is very dismissive. As if "I got rid of the cancer, what more do you want?" Are you requiring chemo post op whereby an oncologist will be involved? If so, they should be your go-to for advice. If not do you have a good GP? Mine has been the most proactive with the menopause/HRT stuff. Regardless you should request the pathology report from your surgery which will state whether any recognised tumours are estrogen/progesterone receptive and this may help guide your doctor with a decision and/or guide your own research. There will be a pathologist working behind the scenes as well, perhaps they could offer advice? I'm sorry it's not easy... Yes getting the cancer under control is paramount but I'm certain that many doctors do not realise that sometimes it is the perceived "little things" that have the biggest impact. I live in Brisbane and was plunged into menopause in the middle of our humid, tropical summer. It was hell! One more thing, are there any Menopause clinics in your town/state/county (I'm not sure where you are, sorry). This could be another avenue worth pursuing. Cheers xx

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I live in a small town in Lakeland Ga in the USA. It is fall here but that really only means continue summer temps till late November or later lol. I don't know if any clinics here for menopause but I will check into it and see. I won't have the pathology report for two weeks but I will definitely be checking that before I talk to my GP or GYN for any type of med for the menopause.

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I was post menopause when I had surgery but that has not stopped the hot flushes from returning. No-one has offered me anything to help. I haven't asked directly but I have said that the flushes are back.

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Hi Jess...I was only 43 so was pre menopausal too. My Onc didn't recommend HRT straightaway, she said they prefer to wait and see how you cope without it first. luckily, I haven't really noticed any side effects, much to my relief. I do get tired but hard to know what is causing it after going through surgery and chemo! Best wishes, Jo xx

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All I had was just the surgeon ONC and he hasn't recommended anything at this point he was only concerned with surgery. I will talk with my GP when the pathology report comes back in two weeks

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Just to say.. I was 39 when I had my op, also not even in peri-menopause . Following histology results etc my gyny onc surgeon spoke with the leading oncologist in the area (well respected prof) and based on my personal circs etc we decided that I try very low dose oestrogen which I started at that point (4 weeks post op) & have taken since. During chemo i had sweats / aches etc so it's worth considering that shock, chemo, other medications, trauma eta etc will all have their side - effects...

I'm now 45 by the way and 5 years NED x

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So glad your are doing well. Thank you so much for the info. I will definitely be talking to my GP as soon as my pathology report comes back

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I had everything removed in 2014, my Dr surgeon said absolutely no replacement therapy. You want nothing to give you any kind of estrogen. Cancer can reoccure. I take nothing but regular vitamins and I see an endocrinologist to ensure all my other vitamin levels are we're to hey should be. I'm stage 3c clear cell ovarian cancer and have been cancer free. I notice most of the time I have issues after eating. I get warm. It will be 4 yrs of being cancer free in April of 18. Best regards Liz

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Thank you. Congrats on 4 years

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Red clover is great for menopause. Black cohosh if you are not on chemo.

LA xx

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Ok thank you lots

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I'm just starting the breast cancer "circus" having received my diagnosis the day after Christmas. Never had BRAC test done. Had hysterectomy about 13 years ago and was a constant ball of sweat.... running down my face, hair soaking wet, clothing soaked. This was day and night. On comes HRT. Sure has helped with the constant sweating/changing clothing 10 times a day, however, here we are with yet another issue. I've not seen the surgeon yet. Couldn't get an appointment until Jan 10th. Such a horrible wait. I believe I would have done more research into my options if I had known the outcome. Hindsight....

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