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Hot flushes, tamoxifen and sage....so many different views

15 REPLIES 15
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Re: Hot flushes, tamoxifen and sage....so many different views

Hello Kas,

 

I am unclear if your reply is to my Post or not.  If not then ignore the following. If it is then,

 

I did not ask a question whether Soy contain Isoflavones that you seem to be replying to.  I never stated anything about you mentioning supplements etc so I do not understand the reason for the  response.

 

In your response 21.03.19 you state:

 

"It's possible that soy advice is out of date."

 

and then Seabreeze responds  to you

 

"I think the jury's out on soy phytoestrogens...or from what I've heard........" etc

 

The only reference to "soy advice" so to speak, that I could see that you would appear to be referring to  is in Cath50's  original post detailing the NICE guidelines at that time , specifically guideline 1.13.14. 

 

All I was saying was that the advice stated in the NiCE guidelines, (at that time in 2016),  is not out of date and is really restated in the current NICE guidelines (revised July 18).  I then went on to clarify that NICE , to the best of my knowledge, are advising regarding supplementation rather than naturally occurring dietary substances.

 

Hope that clarifies things for you.

Regards,

Chick x

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: Hot flushes, tamoxifen and sage....so many different views

Yes "isoflavone" is a component of soy and is often found in supplements (as you highlighted). I never mentioned supplements.

 

As mentioned in the BreastCancerNow info and in the links I shared they refer to the natural soy product.

 

 

 

 

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Re: Hot flushes, tamoxifen and sage....so many different views

 

Hello all,

 

The reference to "Soy" that Cath50 refers to above as NICE guidelines 1.13.14 is not out of date.  It is still current and forms part of the latest Early and locally advanced breast cancer: diagnosis and management NICE guideline [NG101] Published date: July 2018 and is stated at the current time as:

 

1.12.13 Do not offer soy (isoflavone), red clover, black cohosh, vitamin E or magnetic devices to treat menopausal symptoms in women with breast cancer. [2009]"

 

To the best of my knowledge, these are treatment guidelines for medical staff and thus advising them not to offer such items (as supplements) or any magnetic devices (?? such as the Lady Care type device I assume??).     It is not stating that people should avoid any naturally occurring substances found in foods.  For example it is not implying that someone should avoid eating soy substances (containing isoflavone)  or foods containing vitamin E.  As far as I can see, the NICE statement is not making any dietary recommendations one way or the other. 

 

Looking at the information on this site, i.e Breast Cancer Now,  you may wish to look at this link.  It does mention sage in the information (again I with reference to supplements) rather than a lovely dollop of sage and onion (yum) as far as I can see.  You may want to direct any queries to the BC Now Ask the Nurses part of the forum..

 

https://breastcancernow.org/information-support/facing-breast-cancer/living-beyond-breast-cancer/you...

 

"Soy and foods that contain phytoestrogens 

Soy foods such as soy milk and tofu contain natural compounds called phytoestrogens. Foods such as chickpeas and linseeds also contain phytoestrogens.

Phytoestrogens have a chemical structure that is similar to the female hormone oestrogen. As the hormone oestrogen can stimulate some breast cancers to grow, some people worry whether foods or supplements containing phytoestrogens might have the same effect as oestrogen and increase the risk of recurrence.

Current evidence suggests that a diet containing naturally occurring phytoestrogens is safe if you’ve had breast cancer and may be beneficial.

Phytoestrogens are also found in supplements including:

  • black cohosh
  • red clover
  • sage

These are sometimes taken to relieve hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms. However, these are not recommended because the evidence on their effectiveness and safety is limited and conflicting."

 

You may also want to look at/download  the BC Now booklet BCC18 Menopausal Symptoms and Breast Cancer

https://breastcancernow.org/information-support/publication/menopausal-symptoms-breast-cancer-bcc18?...

 

What people may chose to use, or eat,  or avoid  is in the end is going to be a personal decision.  

 

I have been relatively lucky with the hot flushes for now even with the Anastrazole treatment.  I hope it continues. For anyone suffering with awful hot flushes, I hope you have found a way of positively  managing these and even greater hope that they have improved naturally.

 

Best Wishes to all,

Chick x

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Re: Hot flushes, tamoxifen and sage....so many different views

Hi seabreeze,

 

Forgot to reply. Please see the following:

nutritionfacts.org/video/is-soy-healthy-for-breast-cancer-survivors/
nutritionfacts.org/2014/09/18/can-eating-soy-prevent-breast-cancer/
Summary: youtu.be/bKlFfqqJe8c?t=108

Latest research shows soy consumption is protective.

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Re: Hot flushes, tamoxifen and sage....so many different views

Hi HealwithKas,

 

I think the jury's out on soy phytoestrogens...or from what I've heard. There may well be lower rates of BC in Japanese women but there are also many other differences in diet (besides soy), diet throughout life, weight (fat cells also produce oestrogen) etc .

So it's probably a case of moderation for those of us who have had breast cancer.

 

Seabreeze

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Re: Hot flushes, tamoxifen and sage....so many different views

It's possible that soy advice is out of date. For example, studies have shown women who consume the most soy foods (e.g. Japanese women) have lower rates of breast cancer. Try googling "Soy Phytoestrogens for Menopause Hot Flashes". You may also want to research ground flaxseed (due to the the lignans). Of course, the results seem to be mixed so may not work for you.

 

Some even use essential oils to help, e.g. clary sage, but reports seem to be anecdotal only.

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Re: Hot flushes, tamoxifen and sage....so many different views

Hi Cath50,

 

My oncologist suggested I try sage and evening primrose oil for really bad hot flushes. I found taking a fairly high dose of sage, taken twice a day, dramatically reduced the hot flushes for about 12-18 months, then the effect wore off. So I went cold turkey on sage (in a manner of roast dinner speak) hoping that if I had a gap, my body might readjust and it might work better again. So tried evening primrose oil, which I think may help a little bit, and after a long break from sage now take a lower dose just once a day, which helps a fair amount, though I still have disturbed sleep due to flushes.

 

From what I can gather on the forum, sage works for some people but not for all.

 

As a cautionary note, someone once replied to one of my posts recommending sage for hot flushes, saying It might affect blood pressure in some people. So, anyone thinking of taking sage might want to read about that, before they try sage.

 

Seabreeze

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Re: Hot flushes, tamoxifen and sage....so many different views

Hi bibi
Sage is a natural anti bacterial, traditionally used for chest and throat infection.
There are lots of different sages, Red sage would be more therapeutic for hot flushes and infections.
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Re: Hot flushes, tamoxifen and sage....so many different views

I read this about ...Sage is known for its minty flavor and pungent aroma but turns out it can pack in a punch against cancer. This herb has been found to induce cell death and reduce growth in melanoma cells, colon carcinoma cells, and hepatoma cells.4Sage basically has many bioactive compounds with beneficial effects. Ursolic acid, a compound present in it, has been found to be particularly effective at fighting cancer so many mixed answers it's too confusing and worrying
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Re: Hot flushes, tamoxifen and sage....so many different views

Thanks!  Sounds easy and I'll definitely try it as needed.

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Re: Hot flushes, tamoxifen and sage....so many different views

Never thought about buying it. Just put 5 leaves in hot water & leave for 10-15 mins. Doesn't taste of much & weirdly gets rid of sore throats too.  Found out the latter last week.x

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Re: Hot flushes, tamoxifen and sage....so many different views

Is sage tea a "thing", i.e. can you easily buy it (if so, where?) or is it a case of making your own?  I have a huge clump of sage in the garden, flowering very prettily now, so am tempted to make my own freshly brewed.

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Re: Hot flushes, tamoxifen and sage....so many different views

Thanks for your posting of the NICE guidelines - very helpful.  As you say, they detail things we should avoid, however sage isn't on that list, so I would think it is OK to try to see if it helps you.  If it does, please let us know! 🙂

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Re: Hot flushes, tamoxifen and sage....so many different views

Cath50 I know it's a month since your post, but just in case you do check this thread again, my sister lives in Germany & their GPs all recommend sage tea & there is research to suggest it can reduce flushes by 64%, along with avoiding hot drinks & alcohol.  You can still have hot drinks, just let them cool a bit before you drink them, which is ok for green & camomile teas.  Not sure if I would fancy a lukewarm coffee much though. Re alcohol, I get an immediate flush if I drink a glass of wine & wake up really hot in the night, which I don't do normally. x

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Re: Hot flushes, tamoxifen and sage....so many different views

Hi Cath50, 

 

I am sure some of our users will be along soon to offer their support and share their stories. 

 

We do have a booklet on Menopausal symptoms and breast cancer which you can download or order and that you may find useful.  

 

In the meantime you could always call our helpline who can talk you through some of the questions you have on what to avoid. You can contact them on 0808 800 6000. The opening hours are below.

 

Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm
Late opening Monday and Wednesday 5pm-7pm,
Saturday, 9am-1pm 

 

Best wishes, 

 

Lizzy 

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Hot flushes, tamoxifen and sage....so many different views

Hi all, 

I am 3 months into tamoxifen post lumpectomy, chemo and radiotherapy.  and also had to have a hysterectomy a month ago my main problem is sleep disturbance and hot flushes as I have the double whammy of tamoxifen and no overies.

i saw my oncologist last week who approved me taking 5htp for the sleep disturbance ( it increases uptake of seratonin and melatonin ) and she also suggested evening primrose oil and acupuncture.

in researching these I came across lots of recommendations for taking sage as a supplement for the hot flushes. Looking at all the posts there seems to be a huge range of conflicting info so I had a look on the NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CLINICAL EXCELLENCE website which makes the following recommendations 

Menopausal symptoms

1.13.8 Discontinue hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.
1.13.9 Do not offer HRT (including oestrogen/progestogen combination) routinely to women with menopausal symptoms and a history of breast cancer. HRT[13] may, in exceptional cases, be offered to women with severe menopausal symptoms and with whom the associated risks have been discussed.
1.13.10 Offer information and counselling for all women about the possibility of early menopause and menopausal symptoms associated with breast cancer treatment.
1.13.11 Tibolone or progestogens are not recommended for women with menopausal symptoms who have breast cancer.
1.13.12 The selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor antidepressants paroxetine[14] and fluoxetine[14] may be offered to women with breast cancer for relieving menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flushes, but not to those taking tamoxifen.
1.13.13 Clonidine, venlafaxine[14] and gabapentin[14] should only be offered to treat hot flushes in women with breast cancer after they have been fully informed of the significant side effects.
1.13.14 Soy (isoflavone), red clover, black cohosh, vitamin E and magnetic devices are not recommended for the treatment of menopausal symptoms in women with breast cancer.

 

as you see they clearly state that we should avoid soy, red clover, black cohosh, and vitamin e and magnetic devices so am I wrong to chance taking the sage ?