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View Full Version : Hot flashes, night sweats may reduce breast cancer risk



Gingersnap
01-28-2011, 11:20 AM
Hot flashes, night sweats may reduce breast cancer risk
By Jennifer LaRue Huget

It sounds too good to be true, but there might be a bright side to the night sweats, hot flashes and other unpleasantries associated with menopause. A new study finds that women who experience such symptoms may be at reduced risk of several common forms of breast cancer.

Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle surveyed 1,437 post-menopausal women, 988 of whom had been previously diagnosed with breast cancer, about perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms including hot flushes (or flashes), night sweats and insomnia, vaginal dryness, irregular or heavy menstrual bleeding, depression and anxiety.

They found that those who had such symptoms had a substantially smaller risk of developing breast cancer, and that the risk decreased as the frequency and severity of the symptoms increased. Specifically, they found 40 percent to 60 percent reduction in the risk of the two most common types of breast cancer, invasive ductal and invasive lobular carcinoma, among women who had experienced those symptoms. They also found that the more severe the hot flashes, the lower the risk. And their findings held even when they accounted for other cancer risk factors such as obesity and use of hormone replacement therapies. Their work, which appears online ahead of print in the February issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, was funded by the National Cancer Institute.

The researchers suggest that hormones may be the common link, as fluctuations in levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone are associated with reduced ovarian function leading up to and during menopause. Those hormones are also known to play roles in the development of breast cancer.

Interesting. I've often thought that women who use HRT or bioidentical hormones (or phytoestrogens, for that matter) might be increasing their odds of estrogen-dependent cancers. Pretty obviously, human beings weren't designed to function under a heavy estrogen load for years on end.

Wa Po (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/checkup/2011/01/hot_flashes_night_sweats_may_r.html?hpid=sec-health)

jediab
01-28-2011, 11:28 AM
Estrogen sure makes it easier and safer to live with women though. :D

Gingersnap
01-28-2011, 11:46 AM
Estrogen sure makes it easier and safer to live with women though. :D

Actually, I think it's the estrogen that makes us crazy. Both pre-pubertal girls and post-menopausal women are usually less crazy than the 13 - 50 year-old crowd. :D

jediab
01-28-2011, 12:13 PM
Actually, I think it's the estrogen that makes us crazy. Both pre-pubertal girls and post-menopausal women are usually less crazy than the 13 - 50 year-old crowd. :D

Ok I agree with you. Women of all ages are crazy. :p

Novaheart
01-28-2011, 12:33 PM
Actually, I think it's the estrogen that makes us crazy. Both pre-pubertal girls and post-menopausal women are usually less crazy than the 13 - 50 year-old crowd. :D

The disturbing thing about my mother's menopause was that it was making her unpredictably bitchy, like fly off the handle for no reason bitchy, and she was completely unaware that she was being odd or irrational. And yet, for something which was supposedly biological and irrational, she somehow managed to direct all her crazy at my father and myself, never at my sister, my nephews, or any animals. She did let a Scottish storekeeper have it when she thought he was being condescending, but other than that the public was spared as well. She now is in complete denial that it ever happened.

Gingersnap
01-28-2011, 12:42 PM
The disturbing thing about my mother's menopause was that it was making her unpredictably bitchy, like fly off the handle for no reason bitchy, and she was completely unaware that she was being odd or irrational. And yet, for something which was supposedly biological and irrational, she somehow managed to direct all her crazy at my father and myself, never at my sister, my nephews, or any animals. She did let a Scottish storekeeper have it when she thought he was being condescending, but other than that the public was spared as well. She now is in complete denial that it ever happened.

That's the kind of thing that makes women run for the HRT or other estrogen analogs. Sadly, it's probably a lot safer (for the woman) if she just toughs it out. My mother became a lot more rational after menopause.

linda22003
01-28-2011, 02:26 PM
Best Line Ever on "Dharma and Greg"

Greg finds his father in the garage, cowering in his Mercedes. Father says to him, "Get in fast, and lock the doors. Your mother's going through menopause like Sherman through Atlanta."