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Prevention and Treatment of Hot Flashes During Cancer Treatment


Cancer comes with numerous treatments which can cause unwanted side effects. One such side effect is that uncomfortable feeling of heat coursing through your body at any given time. This creates anxiety and unwanted sweat. This effect is called a hot flash, but the good news is there are treatments and preventions.

Hormone therapy is often used in treating certain cancers. The goal of hormone therapy is to lower the hormone levels to inhibit cancer growth. When this happens, you become more susceptible to hot flashes.

How Do I Prevent Hot Flashes During Cancer Treatment?

Documenting each occurrence of hot flashes is the first step to finding the triggers. Often times, if you eat spicy foods or take hot baths, you may experience hot flashes.  Lifestyles changes are an excellent way to prevent hot flashes. These include:

  • No Alcohol Consumption
  • Quit Smoking
  • Lower Caffeine Intake
  • Provide Yourself a Cool Environment
  • Wear cotton clothing and use cotton sheets for sleeping
  • Cool baths/showers

Treatments Available for Hot Flashes

Hot flashes can be brought on by a series of causes. Unfortunately, no drug can eradicate hot flashes from your life. If you are experiencing hot flashes, talk with your doctor. Sometimes they can prescribe an antidepressant, anticonvulsant, or hormone therapy drugs. Drugs used to treat hot flashes should be used cautiously depending on the type of cancer you have.

Treatments such as meditation, stress management, and acupuncture can be helpful. You may need to open a window or place a fan in various rooms of your home for relief. Hot flashes are no fun and coping is the only true mechanism for treatment.

Hot flashes can make life more difficult during an already stressful time. If you are experiencing hot flashes, talk with your doctor to develop a plan of action that is right for you.

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