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Does Breast Cancer Cause Hot Flashes

Drugs That Cause Sweating

Treating Hot Flashes Caused by Hormone Therapy

Some treatment drugs can cause sweating and hot flashes.

These include:

Aromatase inhibitors: Doctors often prescribe these as a hormone therapy to treat various types of breast cancer.

Opioids: A group of very strong pain relievers that can help a person with cancer.

Tamoxifen: This drug treats breast cancer in men and women, and it can help prevent cancer in some women.

Tricyclic antidepressants: These treat symptoms of depression, which often occur with cancer.

Steroids: These can help to reduce swelling and inflammation. Doctors sometimes prescribe them in cancer treatment.

Causes Of Hot Flashes And Night Sweats In Patients With Cancer

In patients with cancer, hot flashes and night sweats may be caused by the tumor, its treatment, or other conditions.

Sweating happens with disease conditions such as fever and may occur without disease in warm climates, during exercise, and during hot flashes in menopause. Sweating helps balance body temperature by allowing heat to evaporate through the skin.

Hot flashes and night sweats are common in patients with cancer and in cancer survivors. They are more common in women but can also occur in men.

Many patients treated for breast cancer and prostate cancer have hot flashes.

Menopause in women can have natural, surgical, or chemical causes. Chemical menopause in women with cancer is caused by certain types of chemotherapy, radiation, or hormone therapy with androgen .

“Male menopause” in men with cancer can be caused by orchiectomy or hormone therapy with gonadotropin-releasing hormone or estrogen.

Treatment for breast cancer and prostate cancer can cause menopause or menopause-like effects, including severe hot flashes.

Certain types of drugs can cause night sweats.

Drugs that may cause night sweats include the following:

  • Tamoxifen.

Complementary Therapies To Help With Hot Flushes Or Sweats

Some;complementary therapies;may help with hot flushes.

Talk to your cancer doctor or specialist nurse first if you are thinking of starting a complementary therapy. Doctors advise women with breast cancer and other hormone related cancers not to take plant oestrogens for hot flushes. It is not clear how safe they are for them.

This content is currently being reviewed. New information will be coming soon.

Whatever it takes.

If youre diagnosed with cancer, your worries are our worries and we will move mountains to help you live life as fully as you can.

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Thyroid Disorders Also Contribute To Hot Flashes


Thanks for sharing your experience. I wonder what may have been the level of testosterone when you were on and;when you were;off drugs . Typically it takes at least two months to recover any;significant amount of T ;that is enough to suppress the symptoms from hypogonadism.;In any case, the hot flashes in guys with normal T levels can be a cause of thyroid problems. Unbalanced hormonal systems lead to disruption of the hypothalamus in charge of regulating our body temperature, thirst and hunger. If you have thyroid disorders like;hypothyroidism, you may experience tiredness, weight gain and;depression. Hyperthyroidism would give you;weight loss and heat intolerance, which are also symptoms we PCa patients experience while on ADT. I recommend you to;test the thyroid if the hot flashes persist.

Regarding your ADT protocol may be appropriate to your case but you could ask your oncologist to extent the periods to verify if you manage lesser symptoms while maintaining a grip on the bandit.

Vitamin E seems to be good to lower hot flashes. A cold drink is also good for those moments. The worse causes behind hot flashes is drinking too much water, calcium, iron and eating too much fruits and vegetables. These all;represent healthy;items recommended to;aged fellas but too much of the stuff may revert to unpleasant;results.

Welcome to the board. Best wishes for continuing control over the bandit.


Environmental And Lifestyle Factors

Hot Flashes Symptoms Of Cancer

Sweating is not always the result of cancer or a hormonal problem.

Other triggers to check first include:

  • Is the bedroom too hot?
  • Are there too many bed clothes?
  • Have you been drinking alcohol?

However, if a person is sweating more than they usually do and there is no clear cause, they should consider seeing a doctor.

Possible treatment options include:

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Hot Flashes And Night Sweats In Cancer Patients

  • Hot flashes and night sweats may be side effects of cancer or its treatment.
  • Hot flashes and night sweats affect quality of life in many patients with cancer.
  • In patients with cancer, hot flashes and night sweats may be caused by the tumor, its treatment, or other conditions.
  • Many patients treated for breast cancer and prostate cancer have hot flashes.
  • Certain types of drugs can cause night sweats.
  • Sweats are controlled by treating their cause.
  • Hot flashes may be controlled with estrogen replacement therapy.
  • Other drugs may be useful in some patients.
  • Treatments that help patients cope with stress and anxiety may help manage hot flashes.
  • Hypnosis may help relieve hot flashes.
  • Comfort measures may help relieve night sweats related to cancer.
  • Herbs and dietary supplements should be used with caution.
  • Acupuncture has been studied in the treatment of hot flashes.

Hot Flashes And Night Sweats May Be Controlled With Estrogen Replacement Therapy

Hot flashes and night sweats during natural or treatment-related menopause can be controlled with estrogen replacement therapy. However, many women are not able totake estrogen replacement and may need to take a drug that does not have estrogen in it. Hormone replacement therapy that combines estrogen with progestin may increase the risk of breast cancer or breast cancer recurrence.

Treatment of hot flashes in men who have been treated for prostate cancer may include estrogens, progestin, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants.

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How Hot Flashes Could Warn Of Breast Cancer

Those lucky few whove never experienced hot flashes have one more reason to celebrate. They might also be less likely to develop breast cancer. But are hot flashes actually warning signs of future illness, or might they point to issues that are far more immediate?

Women who experience severe hot flashes are at higher risk of developing breast cancer. This may be due to higher estrogen levels before menopause. Another possibility is hot flashes often coincide with high-risk factors such as smoking and obesity.

Hot Topic

Hot flashes occur when drops in estrogen affect the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates body temperature, sex hormones, and numerous other basic functions. For reasons still under study, the hypothalamus misreads the body as too hot, and it reacts as it normally would when it thinks youre overheating. This results in the flushing and sweating that often come along with hot flashes.

About 80% of women experience moderate to severe hot flashes, with another 17% having mild symptoms. A mere 3% are lucky enough to complete menopause without experiencing a single hot flash.

The Cancer Connection

Other Important Information

Hot flashes themselves dont cause breast cancer, but they might be red flags that the disease is on its way. Know your personal risks and carefully consider your lifestyle choices. Those hot flashes may be trying to tell you something important. Are you listening?

~ Heres to Your Health and Wellness

Cognitive And Behavioral Methods

Can Acupuncture Help Hot Flashes Experienced by Breast Cancer Patients?

Comprehensive nonpharmacological interventions have been developed and evaluated for their ability to reduce hot flashes, night sweats, and the related perception of burden or problems. These interventions have typically included the following:

  • Psychoeducation about managing general symptoms, including stress, anxiety, and sexual and other menopausal concerns.
  • Relaxation exercises, including slow, deep breathing, called paced breathing.
  • Cognitive restructuring that addresses catastrophizing, negative beliefs, and avoidance behaviors.

Behavioral interventions as a primary or adjunctivemodality may also play a role in hot flash management. Core body temperature has been shown to increase before a hot flash; therefore, interventions that control body temperature could improve hot flash management. Some methods of controlling body temperature include the use of the following:

  • Loose-fitting cotton clothing.
  • Fans and open windows to keep air circulating.

Since serotonin may be involved as a central hot flash trigger, behavioral interventions such as stress management may modulate serotonin, causing a decrease in hot flashes.

Relaxation training and paced breathing were initially found to decrease hot flash intensity by as much as 40% to 50% in controlled pilot trials; however, randomized trials with control arms using a different pace of breathing have not demonstrated significant benefit for paced-breathing interventions.

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How Hot Flushes May Feel

Hot flushes can vary from one person to another. They;can start as a feeling of warmth;in your neck or face. This often spreads to other parts of your body. You might have:

  • reddening of the skin
  • feelings of your heart beating in your chest ;
  • feelings of panic or irritability;

Hot flushes can last;between 2 to 30 minutes. You may have a few a month or more often. The flushes usually last for a few months but for some people they carry on for longer.;

They can be disruptive and might make sleeping difficult.;

Hot Flushes And Sweating

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Hot flushes and sweats are the most common menopausal symptom.

Some cancer treatments can cause an early menopause. These include:

Breast cancer treatment often involves hormonal therapy. In women, hormonal treatments;may cause menopausal symptoms or a temporary menopause. This is because these treatments block the effects of oestrogen on breast cancer cells, or reduce oestrogen in the body.

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Hot Flushes And Sweats In Women

Cancer or cancer treatment can lower the sex hormones in the body. This can lead to hot flushes and sweats.

Hot flushes are one of the most common symptoms women have when they go through the menopause. But hot flushes can also happen because of treatment for cancer.

Women having a natural menopause usually find hot flushes become less frequent and less severe during the 5 years after their last period.

Tamoxifen Hot Flashes And Breast Cancer Survival

Night sweats: Is there a link with cancer?

A 2013 study looked at over 9,000 women who were treated with either tamoxifen or exemestane. Those who had hot flashes had better disease-free survival;, overall survival and fewer distant metastases;

In this study , women who had muscle and joint aches, as well as those who had vulvovaginal symptoms were more likely to survive than women who did not have these symptoms.

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Information Specific To Men

Data are scant regarding the pathophysiology and management of hot flashes in men with prostate cancer. The rate of hot flashes in men receiving androgen deprivation therapy is approximately 75%. The limited data suggest that hot flashes in men are related to changes in sex hormone levels that cause instability in the hypothalamic thermoregulatory center. This is analogous to the proposed mechanism of hot flashes that occur in women. As in women with breast cancer, hot flashes impair the quality of life for men with prostate cancer who are receiving androgen deprivation therapy. The vasodilatory neuropeptide, calcitonin generelated peptide, may be instrumental in the genesis of hot flashes.

In a prespecified secondary analysis of a prostate cancer clinical trial, 93% of men receiving 12 months of androgen deprivation therapy experienced hot flashes. The hot flashes occurred at castrate levels of testosterone, and cessation of hot flashes preceded full recovery of testosterone in most men, with 99% of men reporting resolution of hot flashes.

With the exception of clonidine, the agents mentioned previously were effective in treating hot flashes in women have shown similar efficacy rates in men. Treatment modalities for men have included the following:

  • Estrogens.
  • SSRIs.
  • Gabapentin.

Hot Flushes And Sweats In Men

Hormonal therapy is also used to treat men who have:

It is difficult to completely stop flushes and sweats. But you can usually reduce their severity and how often they happen. It is often best to try a combination of approaches.

Certain things cause a hot flush. These could include:

  • getting too warm
  • drinking tea, coffee or alcohol
  • eating spicy foods.

Keeping a record of when you have hot flushes can help you find out what triggers them. This can help you try to avoid them.

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Hot Flashes Breast Cancer Treatment And Survival

Several studies between 2012 and 2016 have looked at whether hot flashes may be a sign that someone will respond better to certain hormonal treatments, and also, whether women who have more severe hot flashes are more likely to develop breast cancer in the first place.

Though we know that hot flashes are linked to a decrease in estrogen in the body, we don’t know exactly how or why they occur. In other words, we aren’t certain whether low estrogen levels contribute to both hot flashes and the growth of breast cancer, or if there are other mechanisms underlying both processes.

How To Treat Night Sweats

Oxybutynin Decreased Frequency of Hot Flashes, Improved Quality of Life for Breast Cancer Survivors

How night sweats are treated depends on their cause. Night sweats caused by environmental or lifestyle should go away on their own once you eliminate their triggers. If infection is the cause, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

If night sweats occur due to perimenopause or menopause, talk to your doctor about hormone replacement therapy . Some kinds of HRT may increase your risk of developing serious conditions, such as:

Youll need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of taking HRT against having night sweats.

If cancer is causing your night sweats, you must get treatment for cancer to treat the night sweats that it causes. Cancer treatments vary by cancer type and stage. Common treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Some cancer treatment drugs may cause night sweats. This includes tamoxifen, opioids, and steroids. As your body adjusts to the treatment, the night sweats may subside.

The off-label use of these drugs may relieve night sweats:

  • the blood pressure medication clonidine
  • the epilepsy drug gabapentin

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Exemestane Hot Flashes And Breast Cancer Treatment Response

A study performed in 2012 looking at women taking exemestane found that those who had hot flashes during treatment had a significantly increased relapse-free survival rate. Another study in 2016 looking at postmenopausal women being treated with exemestane yielded similar results. The women who had vasomotor effects were much more likely to respond to exemestane treatment than those who did not have these symptoms In contrast, there was no difference in the response rate to the drug among those who did or did not have muscle aches or joint pains. In this study, a response to exemestane was defined as a 30 percent or greater reduction in tumor size on imaging studies.

Overview Of Hormone Therapies

Tamoxifen, a selective estrogen receptor modulator, has both antagonist and agonist properties, blocking the effect of estrogen in breast tissue, but showing estrogen-like activity in other tissues. The indication for the use of tamoxifen has been expanded to include adjuvant treatment of both pre- and postmenopausal women. Male breast cancers commonly express the estrogen and progesterone receptors and can also be treated with tamoxifen.

Unlike tamoxifen, fulvestrant is a pure estrogen receptor antagonist with no agonist effects. It works by both downregulating and degrading the estrogen receptor. It is given once monthly as an injection. Currently, it is indicated for use only in hormone-sensitive metastatic breast cancer.

The identification of aromatase as an essential enzyme in the peripheral conversion of testosterone to estradiol led to the development of further options for hormone suppression. Aromatase inhibitors are used only in postmenopausal women to prevent stimulation of ovarian estrogen production through negative feedback to the hypothalamus and pituitary . Current agents in this class include anastrozole, letrozole, and exemestane.

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Clinical Description And Pathophysiology

Hot flashes are commonly defined as recurring transient episodes of flushing and sweating, with a sensation of heat, often accompanied by palpitations or anxiety, and sometimes followed by chills. A population-based survey comparing women having breast cancer with women in the general population determined that breast cancer survivors were 5.3 times more likely than women in the general population to experience menopausal symptoms.

Several theories have been posited for the pathophysiology of hot flashes. A decline in estrogen has been suggested to cause a change in the thermoregulatory set point in the anterior portion of the hypothalamus. The thermoregulatory nucleus initiates perspiration and vasodilatation to keep core body temperature within a well-regulated range called the thermoregulatory zone. Researchers have demonstrated a narrowing of the zone between sweating and shivering in symptomatic women, so that small elevations within the zone cause a change in hormones or neurotransmitters, producing a hot flash. Yet correlations of the frequency and severity of hot flashes with plasma or serum estrogen levels are poor, suggesting that other mechanisms may be involved.

Functional estrogen receptors have been found in human vascular smooth muscle, suggesting that estrogen may also have a direct and important role in vascular function. Recent research has also shown a correlation between plasma estradiol levels and baroreflex sensitivity.

Side Effects From Drug Therapy For Hot Flashes And Night Sweats May Develop

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Side effects of non-hormonal drug therapy may include the following:

  • Antidepressants used to treat hot flashes over a short period of time may cause nausea, fatigue, dry mouth, and changes in appetite. Some antidepressants may change how other drugs, such as tamoxifen, work in the body.
  • Anticonvulsants used to treat hot flashes may cause fatigue, dizziness, and trouble concentrating.
  • Clonidine may cause dry mouth, fatigue, constipation, and insomnia.

Side effects from drug therapy may vary from person to person, so treatment and dose will be specific to your needs. If one medicine does not improve your symptoms, switching to another medicine may help.

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