Dr. Weeks’ Comment: No lady in menopause likes the hot flashes (or the jokes that men tell “So YOU are the cause of global warming…” Not funny. Not comfortable. But now we learn that persistent hot flashes are associated with higher rates of cancer…
“…Women with persistent VMS are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than women who never experienced VMS, but not more likely to die from breast cancer…”
so CHILL OUT, ladies! This way to reduce or eliminate hot flashes is guaranteed or your money back.
Methods: The analytic sample included 25,499 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) without current/former menopausal hormone therapy use with information on VMS status (never vs persistent). Breast cancers were verified by medical record review. Cause of death attribution was enhanced by serial National Death Index queries. Associations between VMS status and breast cancer incidence and mortality was determined using time dependent Cox regression analyses adjusted for breast cancer risk factors.
Results: Through 17.9 years (median) follow-up, 1,399 incident breast cancers were seen. Women with persistent VMS (VMS median duration 10+ years) (n = 9,715), compared to women with never VMS (n = 15,784), had a higher breast cancer incidence (hazard ratio [HR] 1.13 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02-1.27). While breast cancer-specific mortality was higher in women with persistent VMS (HR 1.33 95% CI 0.88-2.02), the difference was not statistically significant. Persistent VMS status had no influence on breast cancer overall survival (HR 1.02 95% CI 0.81-1.29).
Conclusion: Women with persistent VMS are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than women who never experienced VMS, but not more likely to die from breast cancer.