Menopausal-type symptoms in young breast cancer survivors

M. G. Leining, S. Gelber, R. Rosenberg, M. Przypyszny, E. P. Winer, A. H. Partridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Background: There has been little previous information available about menopausal-type symptoms in very young breast cancer survivors. Methods: In collaboration with the Young Survival Coalition, we conducted an Internet-based survey of women with a history of breast cancer diagnosed at age 40 years or younger using items derived from the Breast Cancer Prevention Trial symptom checklist. Results: A total of 371 respondents were eligible for analysis. Mean age at diagnosis was 32.8 years and mean age at follow-up 36.2 years; 89% of women received chemotherapy, 49% tamoxifen, 15% ovarian suppression, 4% aromatase inhibitors. At the time of survey, 37% were taking tamoxifen and 9% ovarian suppression. Excluding women on ovarian suppression, 77% of women were premenopausal at follow-up. Many women reported bothersome menopausal-type symptoms. In particular, 46% of women reported hot flashes and 39% reported dyspareunia. In a linear regression model of symptom scores, current ovarian suppression, postmenopausal status, baseline anxiety before the diagnosis, pregnancy after the diagnosis, prior chemotherapy, and lower perceived financial status were associated with more bothersome symptoms. Conclusion: A substantial number of young breast cancer survivors experience bothersome menopausal symptoms. While the women who responded to our survey may represent a select group of survivors, these findings may have important implications for treatment decision making and long-term quality of life of young women with breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1777-1782
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Quality of life
  • Young women


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