A recent study published in Cancer suggests that women who have been treated for breast cancer suffer post-menopausal hot flashes that are more intense, lengthy, and frequent than those experienced by healthy women.
114 postmenopausal women who had been treated for breast cancer were surveyed about the frequency and severity of their hot flashes. Fifty-four percent of women with a history of breast cancer suffered from hot flashes more than 10 years after menopause. In previous studies of healthy postmenopausal women, that number has been significantly lower, ranging from 4 to 35%.
More than half of the women in the study described their symptoms as severe. In another study of healthy women, only 25% described their symptoms as severe. Researchers note that this discrepancy may be due to the fact that women with a history of breast cancer cannot use hormone replacement therapy to treat their symptoms because it may cause their cancer to recur.