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Old 10-20-2006, 05:19 PM   #1
a241252
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Any advice for Hot Flashes after chemo?

I am HER2+, 2 years out from last chemo treatment. Chemo made me start menopause early, (I am 45 years old). I have major hot flashes and I am searching for something to help me. I am currently taking Effexor XL 75mg once a day. It helps some but was wondering if anyone else has tried other things. I have tried other meds but the Effexor has been the best so far. Any advice out there to keep me from exploding?
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Old 10-20-2006, 05:30 PM   #2
MCS
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I got hot flashes through chemo. Did not take any meds, drank a lot of water through the day and had fans everywhere, big ones, little ones, everywhere!!


good luck

MCS ( maria)
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Old 10-20-2006, 06:12 PM   #3
a241252
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Thanks Maria

I too have fans everywhere! How long did yours last? I am going on 2 years now.
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Old 10-20-2006, 06:40 PM   #4
Montana
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At my last onc's visit, he told me he has a patient still having hot flashes. She's in her 80's!!!!! Sorry about the bad news....
__________________
Diag. Oct. 2004 age 54 left breast
Stage 1 grade 3; 6mm IDC; unknown amount of DCIS
with comedo necrosis; node neg.
Nottingham Grade 7/9
ER 91% PR 62%; Her2 3.6 by ICH; KI-67 35%

Nov 2004 Lumpectomy; SNB failed so had
full axillary clearance;
Dec 2004 2nd lumpy for clean DCIS margins.

Jan/Feb 2005 4 A/C dose dense;
33 rads finished 6/2005;
Began 5 years Arimidex in 6/2005
No Herceptin
9/2007 Quit Arimidex due to severe side effects.
NED
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Old 10-20-2006, 08:14 PM   #5
geraldine
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My first dx was 2001, secondary..2003...( Lots of horrible treatment inbetween )
I will be 55 in january and still suffer terrible hot flashes, MANY a time, I feel as if I'm going to explode . At this present time, I am on Herceptin only. To read, that this could go on till the grand old age of 80..!!! Hey..!! That's a lot of SWEAT. Living in Scotland, could prove to be a bonus BRRRrrrrrrr....

Geraldine
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Old 10-21-2006, 05:27 AM   #6
jhandley
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Smile natural progesterone

you could try natural progesterone cream......particularly if your tumour was pr-
it did wonders for my hot flushes. If you want to read Dr John lee's book "What your doctor may not tell you about breast cancer" he talks a lot about natural progesterone cream and how to use it. I have also read somewhere else that it may normalise the p53 tumour suppressor gene as well.
Jackie
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Old 10-21-2006, 07:53 AM   #7
rinaina
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My solution to hot flashes was as simple as taking 15-20 tablets of the natural Sun Chlorella A supplement that was recommended to me by my holistic MD. It took about 2 weeks but I haven't had a hot flash again yet and I have been taking them for a year now. It works and Sun Chlorella is all natural and made from plants so healthy as well. It can be purchased as most health stores and at Whole Foods or online.
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~Rina~
Dx:3/06 had a lumpectomy April 19, 2006
Her2+ er/pr- Stage I Grade 3 tumor size 1.4 cm, node negative
AC 4 dense doses
34 radiation treatments including booster doses
receiving herceptin every 3 weeks since late August 2006 for 12 months
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Old 10-21-2006, 08:33 AM   #8
vickivl
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Hot Flashes

Hi

I have only just started my herceptin following 4 rounds of AC which put into early menopause I am 43.I have handled most of the treatments so far but it seems the hot flashes are something long term and Im having trouble dealing with them.I am new to all this and I am finding all the info and advice in here very valuable. I look forward to chatting with you all.
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Old 10-21-2006, 10:33 AM   #9
Patty H
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I found the menopause worse then the chemo. It has been 6 years now and I don't think they will ever go away!! I came out of menopause for a year after I finished the first round treatments but back in again when I relasped. I will try the greenies. I used to take them and still have a lot. So I will take them again to see if it helps. Patty H
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Old 10-21-2006, 10:41 AM   #10
vickivl
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Hi Patty
What are the greenies
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Old 10-21-2006, 12:24 PM   #11
rinaina
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The "greenies" are the Sun Chlorella tablets. They really worked for me but you have to be consistent in taking them. Happy to say I am hot flash free!
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~Rina~
Dx:3/06 had a lumpectomy April 19, 2006
Her2+ er/pr- Stage I Grade 3 tumor size 1.4 cm, node negative
AC 4 dense doses
34 radiation treatments including booster doses
receiving herceptin every 3 weeks since late August 2006 for 12 months
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Old 10-23-2006, 10:08 AM   #12
MCS
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i'm glad to hear about the "greenie", i wish I would have known about this even before bc.

i''ve seen women go thru the hot flashes from mid 40s to mid 50s.

i guess if i get them at 80, it means i'm still alive surviving this beast and that would be ok i'll take hot before c anytime.

beofre bc, i would get them at night, midday, anytime. after the chemo, i usually got them a week after treatment, that is between treatment.

i'm on herceptin now and i get them during the day, every once in awhile but not at night anymore.

good luck
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Old 10-24-2006, 09:38 AM   #13
cherylynnie
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I think I will try the sun chlorella tablets, before I ask the dr. for effexor. I am only 40 and in medical menopause and my night sweats are like clock work, at least two every night at 3 and 6 oclock. My hot flashes during the day vary, some days I get alot and other days only acouple.

Thanks for the info.
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Stage II, Grade III, ER+/PR-, Her2 3.0 amplified, N 0/5, dx 9/05, 39 yrs
Right Mastectomy, immediate tram flap reconstruction
4 AC, 4 Taxotere finished 3/15/06
Currently on Herceptin and Tamoxifen
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Old 10-24-2006, 10:19 AM   #14
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I take 1/2 dose (36.5mg) of effexor in the AM and seems to work well. I found that if I took the full dose of 75mg I would get a little fuzzy in the head.
Just remember, if you do end up with Effexor, that you do not miss a day because you will go through "withdrawals". I was so dizzy I could not lift my head when I did not take it for 3 days. If you are on it, you will need to ween yourself off. (At least that is what the chemo nurse told me).
I have the doc order the 75mg tabs and I cut them in half. Its cheaper that way.

maria (MTS)
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:37 PM   #15
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Re: Any advice for Hot Flashes after chemo?

Walmart has a Spring Valley Menopause Pack, estrogen free, that I have been taking for years and it works okay; I have symptoms in the late afternoons and at night on occasions.

Denise
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:59 PM   #16
MCS
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Re: Any advice for Hot Flashes after chemo?

I think Spring Valley has black cohosh, which I thought was phytoestrogenic, which I understood to have the effect of estrogen.
I am looking for something to help me with some personal problems and looking for non estrogen supplements
I was told about Macafem.
do you or anyone knows about this macafem?
xo
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:04 AM   #17
rhondalea
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Re: Any advice for Hot Flashes after chemo?

I have a bag of ground maca in my cupboard. I stopped using it as soon as I was diagnosed. (I hadn't used it for very long before I was diagnosed, so it should have had no impact on my cancer.)

The Macafem tablets contain 500 mg of maca. They do not appear to be standardized (although I'm not sure what they'd standardize for anyway.) That means each bottle of 100 tablets contains 50 grams for $28.95. You can buy a one pound (453.5 grams) bag of maca from Navitas Naturals for less than $20. It's a real pain to mix in smoothies and such, but a little bit of fat (like coconut or olive oil or even a nut butter) goes a long way to make it easier.

With that said, maca stimulates the hormones, so it is not recommended for women who have hormone-dependent breast cancer (see the Macafem faq, here: http://www.macafem.com/macafem-faq.htm).

Sage is another herb that's reputed to put an end to hot flashes, but the information on how it affects hormones is sketchy, at best. I know that Sarah's "Food for Breast Cancer" site recommends against it:

http://foodforbreastcancer.com/foods/sage

(And I stopped using it for that reason, although I was using it for memory effects, not for hot flashes, which I do not have. Yet.)

There is other research to indicate that the phytoestrogens in sage may not be a problem, but as she says, "there is not much interest in it among breast cancer researchers, so few studies are available."

I will try to post the sage monograph later if I can get the Natural Standard site to behave itself. Also, if I can find anything else that might be a safe and effective alternative, I'll post that too.
__________________

2/6/09 Core needle biopsy: negative; Mammos through 2010: no change
3/30/11 Pea-sized lump in left breast at site of prior biopsy; mammo negative, sonogram not so much
4/14/11 Core needle biopsy: negative for cancer
5/18/11 Excisional biopsy 1.2 cm tumor, LVI, positive margin; ER+60%,PR+20%,HER2/CEP17 5
6/15/11 BMX: Left DCIS & LH; Right ADH; SNB: 2/3 nodes: 1.4 cm and 1 mm; ALND L1&2: 0/10; Stage IIa, Grade 3
7/14/11 CT/Bone scans NED; MUGA 66%
7/19/11 Biweekly dd AC w/Neulasta; done 8/30/11
9/13/11 Transfusion (Hemoglobin 8.6); MUGA 64%
9/20/11 Start Taxol + Herceptin; Taxol done 12/6/2011; continue Herceptin until 9/4/2012
12/27/11 Radiation - 6 weeks; 2/27/2012 - DONE! Yayyyy!
2/29/12 Start Tamoxifen 20 mg/day; continue until 2/28/17
5/16/12 Start five-years Metformin trial
6/19/12 MUGA 61%
8/21/12 Brain MRI NED (head still hurts, brain still fogged)
9/4/12 Herceptin done!
9/6/12 Port out!
7/11/13 Aricept 5mg for cognitive impairment; increased to 10mg as of 8/23/13; back to 5mg 12/2013
5/2014 Add Namenda 7mg
9/2014 Stop Aricept and Namenda; Neuropsychological evaluation
10/24/14 Start cognitive rehabilitation therapy
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:46 AM   #18
Emelie B
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Re: Any advice for Hot Flashes after chemo?

My onc. put me on Clonidine 0.1 mg twice a day and I very rarely have hot flases.
Hope this helps.
Emelie
__________________
Nov. 2006-IDC with Her2 +++
A/C for 3 rounds
Dec. 2006- Herceptin and Taxotere
March 2007-MRM with 8 of 14 lymph node involvement
May 2007-36 Rads
Sept. 2007- Stopped Herceptin
Jan. 2010- CT scan shows enlarged lymph nodes in sternum and lung involvement
Feb. 2010-PET scan shows mets to liver, lung, lymph nodes and bone
Feb. 2010- Started Herceptin/Taxol and Zometa
April 2010-PET scan clear. Herceptin and Zometa
June 2010- Stopped Herceptin continue Zometa and still NED
August 2010-Back on Herceptin and Zometa every 3 weeks
August 13, 2010- Had another port placed
August 24, 2010- PET scan clear. Herceptin and Zometa every three weeks
Nov. 2010-PET scan clear
Feb. 2011-Brain MRI clear
March 2011- PET scan clear
May 2011- PET scan clear
Sept. 2011- PET, Mammo, Bone Scan all clear- Herceptin only
March 2012-Recurrence in lungs and tumor around pota hepatis artery. Added Navelbine to herceptin
April 2012- Entered palliative care
June 5, 2012-Entered hospice care
Planning my memorial
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:15 AM   #19
MCS
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Re: Any advice for Hot Flashes after chemo?

Thank you Rhondalea,

I know of phytoestrogenic hebs: don quai, balck cohosh, gingko,ginseng,red clover and now macafem.
have also herd of DHEA but a woman I know went through a lot with it so she discontinued it.
Then there's testoterone cream and damiana, which don't have estrogen but have other problems
Like I said, I am er- but I am not taking any chances at all.

I am doing Replens and another product from KY called Liquibeads that look like giant vitamin e capsules. These keep me moist but it does nothing for the vagina atrophy and libido either. I do get very mild hot flashes yet once a month and I mark them on a calendar to keep track when they occur-about every 4 weeks, like a regular period or ovulation, so I can tell I still have a limited estrogen in my body.
I've had an endometrial ablation before bc, then i had ovaries removed after bc and have a dble mastectomy
so the search goes on.
we really need doctors that take a copmprehensive view at the disease and not just the medical part
Thank you for the info on macafem and your quick response. That little boy is adorable

xoxo
maria (mcs)
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:12 PM   #20
rhondalea
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Re: Any advice for Hot Flashes after chemo?

Yeah, DHEA is probably not a good supplement for folks with cancer. I used to take 7-Keto DHEA, which is not converted into other hormones, but I'm not sure how effective it would be against hot flashes. There are some positive anecdotal reports out there, but it's not something I'd try again without the approval of my oncologist. Call me chicken.

Replens was utterly useless for me during chemo, so I won't use it ever again in my life even if I end up dry as the Sahara. After that debacle (and I gave it 2 months, which seems to me to be a fair trial), I decided not to bother with the KY product. Instead, I ordered something online called "Creme de la Femme" (http://www.amazing-solutions.com/). The company really needs to change the name of the product, because it would probably sell better, but it works pretty well. Coconut oil also works, although the application is slightly more problematic.

My onc said something about Astroglide, but I think she misunderstood what I was complaining about. On the other hand, it's probably possible to use the gel form in an applicator, so it might be worth a try.

There are a few other prescription solutions to hot flashes, here:

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/466850

I'm not sure, though, that I'd be willing to put up with the side effects.

On behalf of the baby in the picture, I thank you. I think he's the most adorable small child in the world, but, of course, I'm prejudiced--he's my grandson. He was 18 months old in the picture, and he'll be three this St. Patrick's Day. Time flies....
__________________

2/6/09 Core needle biopsy: negative; Mammos through 2010: no change
3/30/11 Pea-sized lump in left breast at site of prior biopsy; mammo negative, sonogram not so much
4/14/11 Core needle biopsy: negative for cancer
5/18/11 Excisional biopsy 1.2 cm tumor, LVI, positive margin; ER+60%,PR+20%,HER2/CEP17 5
6/15/11 BMX: Left DCIS & LH; Right ADH; SNB: 2/3 nodes: 1.4 cm and 1 mm; ALND L1&2: 0/10; Stage IIa, Grade 3
7/14/11 CT/Bone scans NED; MUGA 66%
7/19/11 Biweekly dd AC w/Neulasta; done 8/30/11
9/13/11 Transfusion (Hemoglobin 8.6); MUGA 64%
9/20/11 Start Taxol + Herceptin; Taxol done 12/6/2011; continue Herceptin until 9/4/2012
12/27/11 Radiation - 6 weeks; 2/27/2012 - DONE! Yayyyy!
2/29/12 Start Tamoxifen 20 mg/day; continue until 2/28/17
5/16/12 Start five-years Metformin trial
6/19/12 MUGA 61%
8/21/12 Brain MRI NED (head still hurts, brain still fogged)
9/4/12 Herceptin done!
9/6/12 Port out!
7/11/13 Aricept 5mg for cognitive impairment; increased to 10mg as of 8/23/13; back to 5mg 12/2013
5/2014 Add Namenda 7mg
9/2014 Stop Aricept and Namenda; Neuropsychological evaluation
10/24/14 Start cognitive rehabilitation therapy
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