Hot Flashes May Be Good News for Breast-Cancer Patients

Could be a sign that drug therapy is working, study says

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TUESDAY, June 5, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- Hot flashes may act as positive sign for women taking drug treatment for early stage breast cancer, a new study suggests.

Researchers at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego analyzed data from 864 women with early stage breast cancer who were taking tamoxifen therapy. They found that those who reported having hot flashes were less likely (12.9 percent) to develop recurrent breast cancer than those who did not report hot flashes (21 percent).

The researchers also concluded that hot flashes were a stronger predictor of outcome than age, hormone receptor status, or stage of breast cancer at diagnosis. The findings were to be presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, in Chicago.

"This study provides the first evidence that hot flashes may be an indicator of a better prognosis in women with early stage breast cancer. Our data support the possibility of a significant association between the hot flashes and disease outcome," senior author John P. Pierce, director of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the Moores Cancer Center, said in a prepared statement.

The researchers plan additional research to explore the relationship between hot flashes and breast cancer progression.

More information

Breastcancer.org has more about recurrent and metastatic breast cancer.

SOURCE: University of California, San Diego, news release, June 4, 2007

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