Current management of menopausal symptoms in cancer patients.Oncology (Williston Park) 2002; 16(1):67-72, 74; discussion 75-6, 79-80O
Menopause can be experienced prematurely by women with cancer and, as such, is often accompanied by symptoms that are becoming salient management issues. It is common practice to avoid estrogen replacement therapy in women with estrogen-sensitive tumors. Therefore, the effective management of vasomotor symptoms, urogenital problems, and the prevention of osteoporosis and cardiac disease requires knowledge of nonhormonal interventions. This article discusses the changes women experience during menopause and the symptoms to which these changes can contribute. Pharmacologic options without estrogen, as well as nonpharmacologic interventions, are presented for the treatment of hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and urinary incontinence, and the maintenance of skin, bone, and heart health. The issue of cognitive dysfunction is also addressed. For most of the problems associated with menopause, viable, effective options are available for cancer survivors.