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Wales Cancer Research Centre,
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University Hospital of Wales,
Cardiff, CF14 4XN
10 Jan

Nurse led intervention for women with breast cancer and hot flushes

Deborah Fenlon

Professor Deborah Fenlon is a professor of nursing based at Swansea University. Her programme of research is largely about developing and testing interventions to help people cope with the effects of cancer and its treatment. She tells us about it here:

This is a study about a nurse led intervention for women with breast cancer and troublesome hot flushes. Women who have had breast cancer may experience severe hot flushes as a result of their treatment and the usual option of HRT is not open to them. Hot flushes and night sweats (HFNS) can have a major impact on women’s lives and may make them consider whether to continue with their breast cancer treatment. It is known that cognitive behavioural therapy can help women with HFNS, but it is not known whether this intervention can be effectively delivered by breast care nurses in the NHS setting. In this study we will train breast care nurses to deliver the intervention and then randomise women with troubling hot flushes to either receive six sessions of group CBT or to a treatment as usual group, who will receive a self-help book at the end of the study.

The study, funded by Breast Cancer Now, is a phase III multi-centre randomised controlled trial recruiting from 6 centres throughout England and Wales. The primary end point will be the Hot Flush and Night Sweats problem rating scale (max 10)  at 26 weeks. We will also explore hot flush incidence, sleep (PSQI), depression (PHQ-9) and anxiety (GAD-7) as well as a cost effectiveness evaluation.   

Professor Fenlon has also recently edited a special survivorship edition of the e-cancer journal with some very interesting articles about ways in which people can be supported after cancer.

Sh has also provided more information about menopause symptoms in this Q and A from Breast Cancer Now.