According to a latest study, women with lung cancer who undergo chemotherapy are likely to experience an early menopause.

Chemotherapy may cause acute amenorrhea (absence of menstrual periods), leading to early menopause in women with lung cancer, shows the study. It may also lead to hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and bone loss. Additionally, there also exists a possibility of loss of fertility.

The Journal of the North American Menopause Society records the study findings. The study is the pioneer on amenorrhea rates in women younger than 50.

It suggests that women with lung cancer who desire future fertility must educate themselves about risks and options before starting treatment.

Premenopausal women with lung cancer, who wish to bear children, should consult their healthcare providers about options for embryo and oocyte cryopreservation.

Risk of Lung Cancer in Women

Lung cancer is more common in older adults. But, women are diagnosed at a younger age as compared to men.

Extensive research of women receiving treatment for breast cancer shows that between 40 per cent and 80 per cent have premature menopause. The researchers said that early menopause rates after lung cancer treatments are understudied.

The research studied a total 182 premenopausal women with an average age of 43 years. The Mayo Clinic Epidemiology and Genetics of Lung Cancer Research Program surveyed women between 1999 and 2016. It took place annually thereafter about their menstrual status. It recorded types of lung cancer treatments and also calculated frequencies of self-reported menopause at each survey.

Executive director of NAMS, Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton said, “Although more definitive research is needed, premenopausal women who need chemotherapy for lung cancer appear to have a similar risk of amenorrhea, early menopause, and loss of fertility as premenopausal women receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer and lymphoma.”

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Megha Thadani is an Intern with Shethepeople.tv

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