You’re getting veerry sleeepy…

Posted by on Sep 25, 2008 in hot flash, mind-body therapy | 0 comments

Baylor University researchers report that hypnosis might represent an effective intervention for hot flashes in women with breast cancer.

Makes one wonder if mind-body treatments might represent a viable alternative for all menopausal women?

In the study, which appears in the online edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, 60 breast cancer survivors with hot flashes received 5 weekly hypnosis sessions or no treatment.

The women who received hypnosis reported a 68% decline in hot flash scores. Significant improvements were also observed in anxiety levels, depression, the degree to which hot flashes interrupted daily activities and sleep.

One topic which I’ve not yet addressed on Flashfree is the association between breast cancer treatments and menopause. Indeed, adjuvant therapy, which is a term used to characterize chemotherapy and/or hormonal treatments after breast cancer surgery, often launches as many as 10 to 50 percent of women younger than 40 and in 50 to 94 percent of women over 40 into early menopause. In fact, treatments for breast cancer can cause women to go into menopause in a matter of days.

The reason is that chemotherapy can damage the ovaries and affect their ability to produce normal levels of estrogen. Depending on the type of agent used and a woman’s age, it is possible for regular ovarian function to return. But for some women, early menopause may be permanent. Importantly, hormone replacement is not an option in breast cancer survivors due to an increased risk of recurrence. This makes alternatives even more important.

The results of this specific study resulted in a $2.6 million grant to Baylor from the National Institutes of Health to fund a broader study. According to Baylor, this is the largest grant ever awarded by NIH for this particular type of research.

The larger trial will enroll 180 women who entered menopause naturally and who are experiencing hot flashes. It will compare hypnotic relaxation therapy plus self-hypnosis techniques to another type of mind-body treatment.

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