Cancer Treatment-Related Hot Flashes in Women with Breast Cancer and Men with Prostate Cancer
Patient Guideline Summary
Publication Date: July 1, 2020
This patient summary means to discuss key recommendations from the Oncology Nursing Forum for cancer treatment-related hot flashes in women with breast cancer and men with prostate cancer. It is limited to adults 18 years of age and older and should not be used as a reference for children.
- Women with breast cancer and men with prostate cancer are usually treated with hormone suppression, known as “endocrine therapy.” This treatment causes hot flashes more intense and frequent than during menopause.
- Endocrine therapy can be surgical (removal of hormone-producing organs) or medical.
- Symptoms include flushing and feeling hot.
- This patient summary focuses on the management of hot flashes during endocrine therapy for breast and prostate cancer.
Men and women:
- Physical activity (exercise, yoga)
- Not to be used: gabapentin, pregabalin (gabapentinoids), and herbal or dietary supplements (soy, black cohosh, St. John’s wort, melatonin, vitamin E)
- Only in a clinical trial: hypnosis or relaxation therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, and electroacupuncture
- First choice: venlafaxine, paroxetine
- Second choice: clonidine
- Third choice: sertraline, fluoxetine, escitalopram, duloxetine
- First choice: paroxetine, clonidine
- Second choice: sertraline, fluoxetine, escitalopram, duloxetine
- Only in a clinical trial: venlafaxine
Kaplan, M., Ginex, P., Michaud, L., Fernández-Ortega, P., Grimmer, D., Leibelt, J., Mahon, S., Rapoport, B., Robinson, V., Maloney, C., Moriarty, K., Vrabel, M., & Morgan, R. (2020). ONS GuidelinesTM for Cancer Treatment–Related Hot Flashes in Women With Breast Cancer and Men With Prostate Cancer. Oncology Nursing Forum, 47(4), 374–399. https://doi.org/10.1188/20.onf.374-399
The information in this patient summary should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.