Cancer in Menopause
For most women, menopause happens gradually and naturally as ovaries stop producing eggs and estrogen and progesterone levels decline.
This conclusion of a woman’s reproductive years usually occurs around age 51, but can vary from person to person.
However, there are certain circumstances, like cancer and associated chemotherapy and treatments, that can induce premature menopause.
Continue reading to learn about cancer in menopause, including how it can result in medical menopause and surgical menopause, and ways that patients can manage symptoms.
Cancer in Menopause
Cancer in menopause can present its own set of unique challenges. For women who are diagnosed with cancer, including breast cancer or ovarian cancer, menopause may come more quickly and abruptly than it normally would.
That’s because cancer treatments, both medicinal and surgical, can actually produce immediate and permanent menopause as well menopausal symptoms.
What Is Medical Menopause?
Medical menopause can occur when chemotherapy or hormone replacement therapy disrupts or halts ovarian function.
This effect can be permanent or temporary. When medical menopause is temporary in nature, periods usually return once treatment has been completed.
What Is Surgical Menopause?
In some cases of cancer in menopause, surgical removal of the ovaries is indicated. For these women, an oophorectomy results in immediate and permanent menopause, also known as surgical menopause.
Additionally, some cancer therapies can cause menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, rather than actual menopause.
Women who are premenopausal at the time of their cancer diagnosis may experience associated physical and emotional changes.
Those patients who have already entered menopause may note that corresponding cancer treatments increase the severity of their menopause symptoms.
Learn More About Cancer in Menopause
To learn more about cancer in menopause as well as managing symptoms of medical or surgical menopause, please call our office today and schedule a comprehensive consultation with menopause specialist Dr. Melinda Hall.