Hot flushes after chemo

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I'm a 63 year old female who finished the menopause some time ago. I finished chemo and radiotherapy for stage 1a DLBCL 8 months ago but have some odd symptoms. The main one is hot flushes! Can't be the menopause as that was over before diagnosis; the only other thing I can think of is stress as I've been diagnosed with a 10mm right sphenoid wing meningioma (brain tumour for the uninitiated), next door neighbours who have made my life unbearable for 3 years, and I look after my 11 year old granddaughter during the week who is home schooled after being diagnosed as having "anxiety disorder with autistic traits". Any ideas anyone?

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  • Posted

    Hi Joy - actually, hot flashes can be a side effect of chemo, even *after* menopause. (In some cases, even the tumor itself can cause sweateing and flushing.) Stress doesn't help wink but likely is not the cause. Here's a list of simple things you can do to help from cancerresearchuk:

    Avoid alcohol and caffeine as this dilates the blood vessels in the skin and makes you sweat more

    Avoid spicy foods

    Avoid eating large meals late at night

    Keep your room at a cool, comfortable temperature

    Have a fan nearby at night

    Wear layers of clothes so you can easily take off or put on a layer to adjust your temperature

    Use layers of light bedclothes so you can take some off if you get hot

    If you are sweating a lot at night, lie on a soft towel to soak up moisture and keep your sheets dry

    Wear cotton clothes, as they absorb sweat better than man made materials and don’t make you feel cold when they get wet

    Drink plenty (at least 2.5 to 3 litres a day) as you can lose a lot of fluid in sweat

    Have plenty of warm baths or showers

    I will also add, if you're at home, just opening the freezer door and standing there in front of the blast of cold air is an immediate relief! You can also carry skin wipes that have alcohol (some baby wipes, some wipes for oily skin) with you and wipe down your face.

    If the hot flashes are really troubling, tell your doctor - there are some medications that can help, but they'll have to be balanced with your other medical issues, especially around the meningioma and its treatment.

    Best wishes to you.

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much. Having been through menopause I have become an expert at "handling" them, just needed reassurance that they can be caused by something other than cancer or menopause.

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  • Posted

    Hi joy   The flushes are a  symptom. TELL your oncologist
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    • Posted

      Hot flushes, not drenching sweats. I mentioned it to my oncologist who said that chemotherapy can affect hormones, also to a friend who had stage 4 nine years ago. She had the hot flushes for nearly 2 years after treatment finished.
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    • Posted

      When you say the flushes are a symptom do you mean a symptom of the cancer coming back?
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    • Posted

      No just a side-effect of chemo, not thought to be directly related to hormones. (I have a longer reply to you from earlier waiting to be moderated 'cause it contains a link). He just wants to be sure your oncologist knows.

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    • Posted

      Thank you. The hit flushes are very odd, they're the same as those I suffered during the menopause, though not as severe, I rarely have them during the night. There's a lot of information online concerning chemo causing early menopause, mine had finished before treatment, and hot flushes connected to breast cancer, but next to nothing about my problem.

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  • Posted

    Hi Joy, as a 69 y/o male (see JohnEdna) have history of NHL over 20 years.

    I dont know much about your menopause but I know about andropause (the male variety). Seems that symptoms are quite the same..

    During chemo and radiotherapies I experienced the flushes and still do. It goes with the treatment.

    Nevertheless, confide in your medical team and give them as much feedback on your experiences and they can alter your treatment accordingly.

    Everybody has different reactions to a range of treatments.

    Good luck and keep positive.

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  • Posted

    Hi Joy, I know this discussion is 12 months old but just wondering how you've gone on with the hot flushes ? I've just finished rchop for bulky dlbcl stage 2, 6 wks ago and have been having hot flushes too. I keep telling myself its most likely chemo / menopause ( I'm 41 ) but like you said the info online relates to breast cancer treatment not lymphoma. Ive got my end of treatment pet scan on Wednesday and trying not to panic !

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    • Posted

      Hi. Don't panic, you'll be fine. This will sound strange but my hot flushes got sorted out by my lovely GP by putting me on Fluoxetine. They're actually an anti depressant but sorted out the flushes and the tingling I was getting in my feet. Keep in touch and let me know how you get on, stage 2 is the lower end of the scale so stay positive.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for replying. It doesn't help that I've been having various aches in the same area as the lymphoma was. A lovely man on the MacMillan forum reassured me that its normal with 'bulky' to have aches and pains as it reduces / breaks down and that he had them long after his treatment ended. When they say its a 'roller coaster journey' there most certainly not wrong xx

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    • Posted

      Oh it certainly is. I had a lymph node removed from behind my ear two years ago and I still get pain in that area now and again. They also found a brain tumour on a routine scan (meningioma) which is going to be treated with Gamma Knife surgery at the beginning of August. So if I hadn't have had the DLBCL they wouldn't have found the tumour! Every cloud has a silver lining!

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    • Posted

      Yes, so they say ! I don't know anything about meningioma but I hope that your op goes well and you are able to put it all behind you xx

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    • Posted

      Hi JoyKF53

      So I got my scan results....great news, the tumour has gone. Can't even describe how good it felt to hear that it has gone. Needless to say there was more tears, of joy of course !

      Just a tiny spot that showed up which my consultant has explained as brown fat. They'll repeat the pet scan an 3 months just to be sure. I was expecting to have radiotherapy but as my consultant said 'there's nothing there to give radiotherapy for'. Feel so incredibly lucky, thankful, happy and relieved smile

      Still having the flushes so as another forum member put it....it looks like I might have won the bonus prize !!!

      Hope you are well xxxx

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