World Bulletin / News Desk
Younger women who are thrust into menopause because of breast cancer treatment may get some relief from talk therapy and regular exercise, according to a study from the Netherlands.
Menopause symptoms such as hot flashes often come on gradually for women who go through natural menopause, as the body's production of hormones slowly dwindles. But that's not often the case for women diagnosed with breast cancer and treated with chemotherapy and other potent drugs.
"Oftentimes with women with breast cancer who experience treatment-induced menopause, the symptoms are much more severe than in natural menopause," said Neil Aaronson from The Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, who worked on the study.
In addition, those women can't take replacement hormones to ease the symptoms, an effective but controversial treatment for menopause-related symptoms, since the hormones can put them at risk for a cancer recurrence.
For the study, which appeared in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Aaronson and his colleagues randomly assigned 422 women with breast cancer and treatment-induced menopause to one of four groups.
One group went to six weekly therapy sessions, another consulted with physiotherapists and started tailored exercise programs, a third did both therapy and exercise and the final group was put on a waitlist.
The type of group treatment, known as cognitive behavioral therapy, included relaxation exercises and addressed symptoms as well as body image and sexuality issues.
Six months later, women in the talk therapy, exercise and combined groups reported an improvement in treatment-related symptoms, each gaining about five points on a 73-point scale compared to fewer than two points among waitlisters.
Women who'd had therapy also said they were bothered less by their hot flashes and night sweats, though they had them just as often.
"With the cognitive behavioral therapy, we were primarily targeting the subjective experience of the symptoms, and helping women to cope with the symptoms," Aaronson told Reuters Health.
For women who have been treated for breast cancer and have menopause-related symptoms, antidepressants and other medications may also offer some help. But by that point, Aaronson said, many women aren't interested in taking any more drugs or dealing with any more potential side effects.
He and his colleagues are working on translating the therapy sessions into an online program that people can do on their own time.
"More research is needed on behavioral interventions such as relaxation therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy to understand more about how these things are helpful and for whom," said Debra Barton from the Mayo Clinic, who co-wrote an editorial accompanying the article.
"However, so far the data appear very promising."
The weeklong campaign will target seven of South Sudan's ten states.
The latest cases bring the total number of confirmed cases in the kingdom to 272, of whom 81 have died.
In a survey conducted last year, most water analyzed was deemed to be "very poor" or "relatively poor" in standard and cannot be used for drinking purposes.
Poaching rhinos for their horns is a growing problem in South Africa and a lucrative business for organised criminal networks but it is unusual for thieves to target stock piles.
The 17 new cases, announced late on Monday on the Health Ministry website, bring the total number of Saudi infections to 261, of whom 81 have died
The amendments, now in their fourth draft, are expected to enshrine environmental protection as the overriding priority of the Chinese government
In 2008, the Zambian government banned smoking in public places, relying on state police to enforce the prohibition.
Saudi Arabia has reported 244 cases of MERS since the disease was identified in 2012, of which 79 have been fatal.
China is aiming to make energy production and consumption more ecological to fight smog, siad the Chinese Premier.
MERS has no vaccine or anti-viral treatment, but international and Saudi health authorities say the disease, which originated in camels, does not transmit easily between people and may simply die out
Blamed on the uncontrolled and overuse of farm chemicals, the level of contamination has raised a number of health concerns, with certain villages already showing higher rates of cancer than the national average.
The deputy minister called on South Sudanese farmers in states that have not been hit by famine to cultivate their farmlands to avoid exacerbating the crisis in the country.
Researchers determined that while the Guinean form of the Ebola virus (EBOV) showed a 97 percent similarity to the Zaire strain, the disease was not introduced from Central Africa.
Pakistan's army will join campaign to eradicate polio.
Instead of testing one drug at a time, a novel lung cancer study announced will allow British researchers to test up to 14 drugs from AstraZeneca and Pfizer at the same time within one trial
Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison's office said that medical officers at the centre had confirmed three cases of the potentially fatal tropical disease, which is transmitted by mosquitoes