Chemotherapy may cause acute amenorrhea leading to early menopause in women with lung cancer, according to a new study.
The study is the first to comment on amenorrhea rates in women below 50. It concludes that women with lung cancer, who desire future fertility, should be educated about risks and options before starting treatment.
Premenopausal women with lung cancer may want children and should consult their healthcare providers about options for embryo and oocyte cryopreservation, the gold standard for fertility preservation.
The study included 182 premenopausal women (average age at diagnosis, 43 years). The Mayo Clinic Epidemiology and Genetics of Lung Cancer Research Program surveyed women between 1999 and 2016 at diagnosis and annually thereafter about their menstrual status. Types of lung cancer treatments were recorded, and frequencies of self-reported menopause at each survey were calculated.
The results suggested that chemotherapy for patients with lung cancer increases the risk of the early loss of menses in survivors.
Executive director of NAMS, Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton said, “Although more definitive research is needed, premenopausal women who need chemotherapy for lung cancer appear to have a similar risk of amenorrhea, early menopause, and loss of fertility as premenopausal women receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer and lymphoma.”
“I agree that premenopausal patients with lung cancer need to be educated about the risk for chemotherapy-related amenorrhea, menopause issues (hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and bone loss), and the potential loss of fertility before chemotherapy is initiated,” he added.
The full findings are present in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society.