My name is Carol and I am a mother of 2 kids (9 &6), I am 43 yrs old and have had genetic testing for MSH2 (lynch syndrome) and BRCA2 which both came back positive. My grandmother, mother and maternal cousin have had breast cancer, onset was in the mid 40's. I have spoken to several medical specialists and it is agreed that my first point of preventative surgery is to have a hysterectomy with removal of ovaries and tubes. I am scheduled to have this procedure in September. However, I am very scared of the 'surgical menopause' symptoms. And i was wondering if anyone has experienced this and if they were able to give me some advice? Any information would be helpful. Many thanks..
I had a full hysterectomy eight weeks ago due to endometrial cancer. I have had the Lynch Syndrome testing too but it came back negative. I was just a "random". I am 40 years old. My next step is to have testing for the BRCA2 gene, however I don't have any living relatives with it (my great-grantmother (early 50s), grandmother (mid 40s) and maternal aunt (late 30s) all died of breast cancer)which makes it harder, but I think I will still have it done.
Surgical menopause isn't pleasant! I won't lie. The symptoms started for me about five days after surgery. Hot flushes and insomnia were the main issues for me, but I have started HRT recently and it seems to be working well. I have a very low dose oestrogen gel (now a patch) and a higher dose progesterone pill.
Your doctor should be able to help you with managing the symptoms. My oncologist told me that we should be able to get rid of the hot flushes all together so we're trialling oestrogen patches and hopefully the flushes will go!
Aside from the symptoms, I have had mood swings, moments of tearfulness (i.e. don't look at me sideways or I will cry), and also been a bit down. Just try to remember that anything you feel is ok. It's ok to be sad/angry/hurt/upset. Whatever you do, take the time to just "feel"... whatever that is.
There are many ladies on here who will be able to help with more information that me most likely! I am relatively new to the site and cancer (only diagnosed June 2013).
I wish you the very best of luck and I hope you stay cancer free.
Hi Carol. I had a radical hysterectomy following diagnosis of ovarian cancer a year ago (aged 47 years) I was bracing myself for the onset of menopause but guess what...it never happened!!. It doesn't always follow that you will experience any symptoms. My twin sister had to have a preventative ovary removal and she didn't experience much - a hot flush or too but nothing too drastic!. So, you never can tell which way it will go. I really hope that your op goes well and that if you do experience any menopausal symptoms, that they will be minor. Remember there is always help available. Take care and good luck!.
Thank you so much for your story and feedback. I am really happy to hear honest feedback. As I am cancer free and I am doing this purely for prevention reasons, it frightens me of what is ahead.
Because I am high risk of contracting breast cancer, my oncologist is recommending me to take HRT oestrogen component (not progesterone) but she wants to take the 'wait & see' strategy. I am not sure what to do as there is conflicting information out there.
I wish you luck with the BRCA testing and hope it is comes back negative. All the best with your recovery!!
Thank you for your feedback, I am glad to hear that you and your sister escaped 'menopause'. I hope everything went well for you after your surgery and you are back to a healthy life.
Thank you for sharing.
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