“I had treatment last year and I want to give something back.”
A study looking at a way of reducing menopausal symptoms after treatment for breast cancer (MENOS1)
This study was looking at whether group sessions offering practical advice could help women manage menopausal symptoms after treatment for breast cancer. This study was supported by Cancer Research UK.
Women who have had treatment for breast cancer often have menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats. Certain things may help to relieve these symptoms, including some drugs. But many women prefer to find other ways of managing these problems.
In this study, the researchers developed a programme of group sessions where women were offered advice on ways of managing hot flushes and night sweats.
The aim of the study was to see if the group sessions reduced the problem of hot flushes and night sweats after breast cancer treatment.
Summary of results
The researchers found that group sessions helped women who were having night sweats and hot flushes after breast cancer treatment.
The women taking part had been having hot flushes or night sweats at least 10 times a week for at least 2 months. The average length of time that women had been having these problems was 2 years.
At the beginning of the study, all the women taking part kept a diary for 2 weeks. In this, they recorded details of how often they had hot flushes and how bad they were. They then had an interview with a member of the study team and filled out a questionnaire which rated how much of a problem they found hot flushes and night sweats to be.
They also wore a monitor for 24 hours which recorded the number of hot flushes and night sweats they had. These assessments showed that on average, the women were having 69 hot flushes or night sweats a week.
The study was randomised. This means the women were put into groups by computer. Neither they nor the study team could decide which group they were in.
- 47 women had group sessions once a week for 6 weeks
- 49 women had treatment as usual
9 weeks later, they completed a questionnaire and wore the hot flush monitor for another 24 hours. Women who had the group sessions reported improvements in how they were sleeping and how they felt (their mood).They now rated hot flushes and night sweats as less of a problem. This improvement was greater in these women than in the women who had treatment as usual. These differences remained 6 months later.
The flush monitor showed that there was not much difference between the 2 groups in how often they had hot flushes or night sweats. But women who had group sessions rated their quality of life as better than women in the treatment as usual group.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Professor Myra Hunter
Cancer Research UK
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/08/028.