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386 Survey of menopausal symptoms after cancer
  1. H Bartels1,
  2. F Donohoe1,
  3. A Roberts2,
  4. L Comerford2,
  5. Y O’meara3 and
  6. D Brennan1
  1. 1Ireland East Hospital Gynaecological Oncology Group, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Ireland, Gynae-oncology, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Gynaecological Oncology CNS – Survivorship SVUH/NMH, Dublin, Ireland
  3. 3Living Well Cancer Programme, UCD Gynaecological Oncology Group (UCD-GOG) School of Medicine, Catherine McAuley Centre , Eccles Street, Dublin 7, Ireland, Dublin, Ireland


Introduction/Background*Women with a history of cancer often suffer with symptoms related to treatment long after their cancer diagnosis. The aim of this study is to explore the extent to which women experience menopausal symptoms following treatment, and the impact this has on their daily lives.

Methodology Women with a history of cancer were invited to participate in an online survey in March 2020. Three separate surveys were completed which focused on menopausal symptoms, sleep disturbance and anxiety. Participants were recruited through patient support groups and via social media.

Result(s)*418 women responded to the survey, with a median age of 49 (23 – 72). Breast (63%, n=265) and cervical (17%, n=71) were the most prevalent cancers. The menopausal symptoms women found most troublesome and which they would most like to be rid of were hot flushes/night sweats (31%, n=96), disturbed sleep (27%, n=85), and feeling tired or worn out (19%, n=56). Hot flushes severely interfered with women’s quality of life, with 48% reporting “severe” sleep disturbance and 28% (n=98) felt their enjoyment of life was significantly impaired as a result. Sleep was severely affected by menopausal symptoms, with 80% (n=324) of women reported waking up in the middle of the night or early morning and trouble falling asleep again. A significant number of women were using prescribed medication to aid sleep, with 30% (n=109) using medication more than once per week. Furthermore, 43%(n=150) women reported difficulty in staying awake while driving, eating or while socialising at least once a week. Questions relating to anxiety found 75% (n=273) were “unable to relax” during the past month and this was moderate to severe for 45% of women. Furthermore, a fear of dying was reported by 30%(n=186) of women.

Conclusion*This survey highlights the degree to which women suffer on a day to day basis following a cancer diagnosis and living with menopausal symptoms. Sleep disturbance and hot flushes were highlighted as particularly challenging. These data demonstrate the need to develop appropriate evidence based solutions and support services to manage menopausal symptoms after cancer treatment.

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