Your welcome Maude. I prefer not to supplement unless there is really strong evidence that it's needed. Having hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms can be very hard to cope with but I wouldn't want to take a drug without it going through clinical tests to show it works and is safe and I feel the same about supplements too.
Having had a breast cancer diagnosis I suppose I feel I'm no longer like most woman out there and I prefer to err on the side of caution when it comes to all these things.
I often wish it would all be more straightforward and clear cut when it comes to these sort of things.
take care all, Elinda x
Thanks for that info Elinda.
I keep telling myself it would be best for me to get through the menopause as naturally as possible - by eating healthily and taking some exercise and cutting down on alcohol and caffeine. Then I hear about something that might help and I think "Mmmmmmm .... should I try that?" I think the conclusion has to be stick to my initial idea of not taking any supplements just in case.
I would add I had terrible hot flushes when I started on tamoxifen which went on for months and then they suddenly stopped without me taking anything. I think they do tend to come and go naturally during menopause as well from speaking to my sister in law. x
I'm not an expert but I've been doing some hunting for info on this and it's quite hard to come by.
You might like to look at this from the Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer hospital. Starflower oil is also known as borage oil.
It does seem that there is the potential (although rare) for hepatotoxic (liver toxic) effects if taken for a long time. Also be very careful where you source it from:
The active ingredient seems to gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) also found in evening primrose oil:
I can't find much evidence to show that they work and personally I'd be quite cautious about supplementing something that may have effects on the body that haven't been fully investigated.
I wouldn't though worry about anything I'd taken to date.
If anyone's Onc or BCN says that there is evidence, I'd love to know about it and would be grateful if you could post a link or researcher's names etc so I can find it.
I've been taking Starflower oil daily since I started Tamoxifen and haven't had any hot flushes so I'm assuming it's working. I asked if it was safe to take first and the hospital said yes
Interesting question. I've had a quick look at research on the internet and, as yet, can't find anything that shows evidence that starflower oil works in the relief of menopausal symptoms nor about its use post breast cancer.
I can't look anymore today but I will search more tomorrow - I may well have missed something.
My immediate thought on this, is that I'd like the BCN to provide me research evidence on its efficacy as well as its safety.
Did you find out if starflower oil is safe? I was talking to a lady today who said she has been taking cod liver oil and starflower oil for menopausal symptoms and it has helped (she hasn't had breast cancer though).
Yes, do give the helpline here a ring, lines are open again Monday morning at 9am. Calls are free, 0808 800 6000.
I wouldn't expect a BCN to advise something if they weren't sure they were suitable but if you'd like to put your mind at rest, why not try the Helpline from this forum. Think you'll have to wait till Monday now though.
It's something that would never have crossed my mind - natural remedies or vitamins etc inhibiting treatment but the BCN at The Haven told me that St Johns Wart inhibits the effectiveness of chemo & tamoxifen.
All the best - love & hugs xx Chris xx
A couple of months ago my BCN suggested that i take 1000mg a day to control my hot flushes. I did question whether I should be taking this as I'm oestrogen positive but she assured me that it would be OK. It does seem to be working but I'm worried that i'm doing the right thing as everything I read says that you shouldn't take it if your cancer is hormone positive.
Any thoughts please.