Menopause is a natural process of a woman’s life, when the ovaries stop producing hormones, regular periods stop and the ability to bear children ends. Most women become menopausal naturally between the ages of 45 and 55 years. Some cancer treatments can also cause menopause to occur much earlier than usual. This may result in menopausal symptoms that may cause discomfort and affect your daily life.
Causes of Menopause in Cancer
The following cancer treatments can cause early menopause and/or side effects that are similar to menopausal symptoms:
What you need to look out for
Mainly caused by hormonal changes within the body, common menopausal symptoms are listed below. Some women may have one or more of these symptoms, and the severity may vary:
Menopause can also have other effects on the body such as
thinning of the bones (osteoporosis), infertility and increased risk of heart disease. Talk to your healthcare team to explore ways to manage these issues, so that they do not affect your quality of life.
How it can be treated
Your doctor or nurse may ask you more questions regarding the symptom(s) that you are concerned about, and recommend you practical tips to manage them (see section on “What you can do”). Depending on your needs and concerns, you may also be referred to the sexuality clinic or the psychosocial team, to help you cope better with your menopausal symptoms.
What you can do
The following are some of the lifestyle changes that you may adopt:
Vaginal and urinary changes
When to consult your cancer care team
Please inform your doctor or nurse if you feel that any menopausal symptom is affecting your daily life, or if you experience any of the following:
If you are a patient with NCCS, you may also call
+65 64368417 or +65 6436 8088 to book an appointment to speak to an NCCS medical social worker.
If you have any questions regarding the above information, please call Cancer Helpline at
+65 6225 5655 or approach your doctor or nurse for further details.
Click here to download the PDF version of this article.
The above contents are made available as part of TEMASEK FOUNDATION-ACCESS (Accessible Cancer Care to Enable Support for Survivors) PROGRAMME, a holistic care programme to support cancer patients during their care and recovery journey.
The contents have been approved by the Cancer Education Information Service, National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS), for people with cancer and their families and caregivers. However, this information serves only as a guide and should not be used as a substitute for medical diagnosis, treatment or advice. For specific medical conditions, please seek expert medical advice from your healthcare team.
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