Improving the health and well-being of women cancer survivors


Dr Michelle Peate

University of Melbourne


2021 - 2023

The Research

Over 500,000 women in Australia are cancer survivors. Many experience short and long-term symptoms due to treatment which can affect day to day living. Menopausal symptoms (e.g. hot flushes and night sweats) are common after cancer. In reproductive aged women, chemotherapy for breast and blood cancers, surgery for endometrial or ovarian cancer, and radiation to the pelvic area for cervical or colorectal cancer, will generally cause menopause. The symptoms of menopause triggered by cancer treatment are often more severe than those experienced with natural menopause. Symptoms affect quality of life, daily function, sleep, mental health, intimate relationships and wellbeing. It can also increase risk of other health issues such as heart disease and decreased bone density.

Despite this significant health burden, most women do not receive effective support and treatment. Safe and effective treatments are available however, many patients and clinicians are unaware of these treatments or do not have access to care.


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