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The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether acute menopause symptoms experienced by women with breast cancer differed from those of women experiencing a natural menopause. For the study, 200 women younger than 65 years of age receiving adjuvant systemic treatment for breast cancer were invited to complete a self-report questionnaire incorporating a previously validated tool: the Greene Climacteric Scale. The control group consisted of 200 women 50 to 64 years of age who did not have a breast cancer diagnosis. An overall response rate of 59.5% was obtained. The majority of the respondents were peri-or postmenopause at the time of the study, reporting either irregular periods or no periods. Findings demonstrated that women receiving adjuvant systemic breast cancer treatment were more likely than the control group to report a current experience of menopause symptoms. Women with breast cancer also reported a higher incidence and severity of specific menopause symptoms (tiredness, hot flushes, night sweats) than control subjects. These differences remained statistically significant when controls were used for potential confounding variables such as age, menopause status, and time since last period. Hot flushes ranked second only to tiredness as side effects attributed to cancer treatments. Because of the intimate and supportive nature of their role, nurses are in a key position to conduct future research relating to women's experiences of menopause symptoms and potential therapeutic interventions. Within the specific context of breast cancer care, oncology nurses are recognized as having a central role in informing and supporting women throughout the breast cancer trajectory. Thus they are ideally placed to address menopause as a particular survivorship issue.
|Glasgow Author(s):||Smith, Prof Lorraine|
|Authors:||McPhail, G.M.N., and Smith, L.N.|
|Subjects:||R Medicine > R Medicine (General)|
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
|College/School:||College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine > Nursing and Health Care|
|Journal Name:||Cancer Nursing|