How do I know if it’s the menopause

Hi. I am 47 and I have been on tamoxifen for nearly 11years now. I haven’t had a period for years since chemo and whilst on tamoxifen have always had menopausal symptoms, mainly hot flushes and night sweats. They seem to flare up every 2-3 months for a week or two at a time. I’m finding that they are becoming more frequent along with a lot of other menopausal symptoms. How do I know if I’m actually going through the menopause now. Also how long will I need to stay on tamoxifen for?

Hi dara0177

Thanks for posting. It’s understandable that you’re asking if you’re menopausal and how much longer you should stay on tamoxifen.

Hot flushes are the most commonly reported menopausal symptom due to breast cancer treatment and many women contact us describing the difficulties they are experiencing with them. The frequency and severity of them vary from person to person. For most women they will fade over time and become less severe, but for some they may continue to experience hot flushes which can really affect their quality of life.

We know that there are different things that help with hot flushes.

Do ask your GP to refer you back to your breast clinic or oncologist (if you’re no longer in touch with your treatment team) for advice. They can advise you about stopping the tamoxifen and ask your GP to arrange blood tests to assess your menopausal status. You may want to ask about a referral to specialist menopause clinic where you can get further advice and information about coping with menopausal symptoms.

You’re also welcome to call our helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information if necessary. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK -prefix 18001).

If you would prefer one of our nurses to call you. To do this, please complete this form ticking the box agreeing to a call back.

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Best wishes


Breast Care Nurse

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