Premature menopause in young breast cancer: effects on quality of life and treatment interventions
Many young women are at increased risk for premature menopause following adjuvant treatment for breast cancer. These women must deal with consequences of menopause, including loss of fertility and physiologic symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and weight gain. These symptoms can be particularly distressing for young women and can adversely affect both health-related and psychosocial quality of life (QOL). While there are a wide range of pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions available to help with these symptoms and in turn, improve QOL, there is little data available about the use and efficacy of these interventions in younger women who become menopausal as a result of their breast cancer treatment. Future studies should focus on this vulnerable population, with the goal of identifying effective strategies to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life in young breast cancer survivors.