Sweating

SF73
SF73 Member Posts: 317 Member

Silly question. Has anyone noticed sweating a lot more during their cancer treatment? If yes, does it go away after chemo is done?  Drinking a cup of hot tea makes my head sweat now. Maybe it always did but I never noticed because I had hair (lots of it). Now with a bald head, the sweating is very obvious. Such a strange sensation. Physical activity also leads to a lot more perspiration than it used to. I now leave my vinyasa class with a t-shirt that is completely soaking in sweat. I also have mild night sweats. Not enough to soak the sheets but enough for me to notice. I am 44 years old and the surgeries I had in the last few months put me in surgical menopause. I read that low estrogen is one of the most common causes for night sweats for women. I happened to get my total estrogen levels measured last month and it was 75 pg/ml ( for untreated postmenopausal women apparently the normal range is 50-170 pg/mL which puts me in the lower range) I wonder if having low estrogen is also the reason for all the sweating during the day.. Is this what people refer to as having hot flashes? My mother never experienced any hot flashes so I don't have anyone to compare notes with. But I thought hot flashes were episodes that are triggered with no reason. In my case there is a reason (physical activity, a cup of tea etc) but the response is excessive.  I am just curious. I don't mind it at all. In fact I have convinced myself that sweating is good for me so I just take more showers and drink more water. 

Comments

  • cmb
    cmb Member Posts: 1,000 Member
    edited February 2018 #2
    Sweating during chemotherapy

    I had the most hot flashes during the 10 years or so I was premenopausal. And yes, mine were usually triggered by something specific. For example, I could not drink wine at all during this period as just one or two sips precipitated a hot flash. But other women I knew had more severe hot flashes that didn't seem tied to any particular triggers.

    After menopause I would occasionally have a hot flash (although thankfully not while drinking wine!), but for the most part I was done with them.

    However, after my cancer surgery at 61, I did experience more hot flashes during my chemotherapy. And yes, it's odd to have your bald heat sweating – I used to take a cool washcloth and wipe it off when it occurred. And I had to go back to sleeping with a fan cooling me during the night.

    In my case, these frequent hot flashes stopped after I finished chemotherapy. But since your hot flashes are more likely a result of surgical menopause, even if aggravated by chemo, your doctor may have suggestions on best way to address them.

    I didn't take any drugs or supplements for hot flashes when I was premenopausal since I learned what my triggers were and avoided them when I could. And the hot flashes during chemo, while annoying, weren't the most severe side effect so I just ignored them, beyond using my fan.

  • Northwoodsgirl
    Northwoodsgirl Member Posts: 571
    edited February 2018 #3
    Sweati

    I don’t recall having hot flashes during chemo but it was fall/winter and just remember being cold. Different story after chemo and radiation completed. Glad you are replacing lost fluids with increased hydration. I also learned to appreciate iced coffee and iced tea to avoid hot beverages. Your hot flashes should get better with time. No fun!!!! 

  • pinky104
    pinky104 Member Posts: 574 Member
    Sweating from Cancer

    I had uterine cancer in 2010 and a recurrence in 2017.  Before I even had surgery or chemo, I developed hot flashes and night sweats.  I hadn't had any before the cancer, and I'd been in menopause for almost 10 years.  Maybe yours will go away after the cancer does, like mine did.

    I should also mention that I had Grave's disease (which is hyperthyroidism plus a goiter) when I was in my 30's.  I was sweating a lot with that.  If yours doesn't go away, you might try asking your family doctor for a thyroid check if he doesn't do it already.  Hyperthyroidism can have many other symptoms like weight loss and eyes that bulge out a little.  People always used to notice how big my eyes were.  Little did I know I had something wrong with me that caused that.   

  • SF73
    SF73 Member Posts: 317 Member
    Great comments!

    I also do not plan on taking any medication/supplements for the hot flashes (if what I am experiencing is indeed hot flashes) As long as the sweating is not a sign of cancer coming back (even before I am done with chemo), I am a-OK. Pinky, good to know about the relationship between sweating and thyroid function. I will definitely keep that in mind. Thank you all for taking the time to answer.

  • ckdgedmom
    ckdgedmom Member Posts: 166 Member
    so.much.sweating.

    Ugh! Before my hysterectomy I was having a bit of night sweating and like cmb I would sometimes get a hot flash with wine but for the most part that was it...all my sweating was usually just in spin and yoga class...

    but now...

    hot flashes! So fun! love it when I am just finishing my makeup and hair and boom! Hot flash! ruins the hair and makeup...

    I do notice I seem to sweat more...today in yoga I was literally dripping (the room is warmed to 90) and I got a hot flash...

    I did not have them DURING chemo itself because I cold capped (so I was cold during the whole infusion and after) but did seem to have more during the months I was going through chemo.

    anyone get COLD flashes?

    there are times I am literally freezing...like need a blanket freezing...teeth chattering freezing...

    I get them all the time too...under a blanket right now...heater on...and I live in TEXAS!

  • SF73
    SF73 Member Posts: 317 Member
    edited February 2018 #7
    I do get cold flashes!

    I didn't know what I experienced had a name. Good to know I am not alone:) Thanks, ckdgedmom for sharing!

  • MugsBugs
    MugsBugs Member Posts: 111 Member
    No cold flashes

    The only time I had a cold flash was the night before my hysterectomy.  That was probably due to nerves and no food for 36 hours.  The hot flashes were bad before and after.  I keep the temperature in my room at 66.  The hot flashes seem a little more intense after the hysterectomy.  I am changing my sheets daily. It might be my body trying to get ride of the anesthesia toxins.  I am hoping these will ease up as I recover!

  • Soup52
    Soup52 Member Posts: 908 Member
    I had night sweats before I

    I had night sweats before I developed any other signs of cancer. That should have been my first clue! Anyway after surgery the night sweats left and never came back.

  • henhill
    henhill Member Posts: 123
    edited February 2018 #10
    cold flashes

    I also have trouble with being cold, it is awful.  I have a blanket, space heater, and a hat and gloves on right nowCry.  Chills. shaking, and shivers, worse at night, and it doesnt help that, so far, this has been a very cold winter

  • evolo58
    evolo58 Member Posts: 293 Member
    The first chemo session, I

    The first chemo session, I was constantly freezing. I layered and wore a woolen shawl that a local organization was giving out to those who were seriously ill (never thought I'd fit into that category, but it IS a comfy and pretty woolen shawl. Hand-knitted and the knitter did good work!). I was also constantly by the fireplace.

    Now, I vary. The hypothyroidism isn't helping any, though.

  • lucindaw
    lucindaw Member Posts: 4
    ckdgedmom said:

    so.much.sweating.

    Ugh! Before my hysterectomy I was having a bit of night sweating and like cmb I would sometimes get a hot flash with wine but for the most part that was it...all my sweating was usually just in spin and yoga class...

    but now...

    hot flashes! So fun! love it when I am just finishing my makeup and hair and boom! Hot flash! ruins the hair and makeup...

    I do notice I seem to sweat more...today in yoga I was literally dripping (the room is warmed to 90) and I got a hot flash...

    I did not have them DURING chemo itself because I cold capped (so I was cold during the whole infusion and after) but did seem to have more during the months I was going through chemo.

    anyone get COLD flashes?

    there are times I am literally freezing...like need a blanket freezing...teeth chattering freezing...

    I get them all the time too...under a blanket right now...heater on...and I live in TEXAS!

    cold falshes

    I am 2 weeks post surgery and I notice i tend to get a cold flash just before getting a hot flash.  I will be freezing my butt off under ten blankets and building a fire.  the next minute I am burning up opening the doors and peeling layers of clothes off to cool off it is tough finding the perfect medium.  Before my hysterectomy I was fine between 65-70 degrees crazy I keep asking my aunts and relatives that have gone through menopause for advice but none of them can remember having cold or hot flashes 

  • TeddyandBears_Mom
    TeddyandBears_Mom Member Posts: 1,811 Member
    edited February 2018 #13
    lucindaw said:

    cold falshes

    I am 2 weeks post surgery and I notice i tend to get a cold flash just before getting a hot flash.  I will be freezing my butt off under ten blankets and building a fire.  the next minute I am burning up opening the doors and peeling layers of clothes off to cool off it is tough finding the perfect medium.  Before my hysterectomy I was fine between 65-70 degrees crazy I keep asking my aunts and relatives that have gone through menopause for advice but none of them can remember having cold or hot flashes 

    Lucindaw, First, welcome!

    Lucindaw, First, welcome! Glad you found us.

    I have been dealing with hot flashes for 15 years.  And, like you I have the cold flashes right before any major hot flashes. Drives me nuts.  Most of my cold flashes happen at night.

    I can't blame mine on chemo or cancer since I had them a long time prior to both.  Although, it seems like my hot flashes have gotten a bit worse if that is even possible!

    Love and Hugs,

    Cindi

  • zoehuck
    zoehuck Member Posts: 4 *

    Hi I had breast cancer in 1999. I had adriamycin and cytoxin. I was triple negative. Stage 1. Lumpectomy and removed 20 nodes. I was recently diagnosed with neuropathy in my feet. I hade more than one neurologist tell me it was probably due to the chemo I had in 1999. I have neuropathy in my upper body on the right side where I had the cancer. I have a slew of nerve issues that may be ergonomic or maybe chemo or radiation related. Who knows! I’ve had hot flashes since the chemo at age 43. The past year they have gotten really really bad. I don’t think they are regular hot flashes. They won’t turn off. It makes putting makeup on and doing hair impossible. Seriously, I lift my pinky finger and I sweat, profusely. If I am anxious or physically active I sweat profusely. It runs off my forehead and drips to the floor. My hair, especially around nape of neck, is soaked. It is gross and embarrassing. Also suddenly I stink all the time. My antiperspirant doesn’t work anymore. All of a sudden. I’ve tried 5 different kinds. Including natural deodorants. Stinking has never been an issue with me. My right armpit where I had lymph node surgery and radiation doesn’t sweat anymore so that isn’t a problem but my left armpit, OMG. What is going on? Im beginning to wonder if this is chemo related. Getting old and heavier is bad enough. Sweating and stinking all the time (and I mean right out of the shower when a sweat starts) is miserable. Does anyone have any experience with sweating and stinking (sorry don’t know what else to call it) this far out? My PCP looks at me glazed when I talk about the sweating. I think I’m going to try and see an oncologist. Help

  • zoehuck
    zoehuck Member Posts: 4 *


  • cmb
    cmb Member Posts: 1,000 Member

    I can’t say whether the sweating and body odor are a long-delayed side effect of chemo. However, given your age, they could be just symptoms of late menopause. My friend experienced many episodes of drenching sweat for a few years post menopause. She had no other health issues.

    Another friend sought help for her sweating issues from a dermatologist. If you haven’t consulted with one yet, you may want to try this type of doctor. The dermatologist was able to help my friend to reduce the frequency and amount of sweating she was experiencing. 

  • zoehuck
    zoehuck Member Posts: 4 *

    Thanks CMB, I will consult a dermatologist but I’m pretty sure the sweating that i am experiencing isn’t menopause hot flashes. I’ve had hot flashes since I was 43. I’m 67 now. I haven’t had a period since June of 2000. This sweating is profuse and the “flash” won’t turn off once started. It’s like a slow burn for an hour. If I’m doing physical work, I have to wear a bandana and change it multiple times because it rolls to the ground and my shirt and underwear are soaked. I’m convinced this is more than menopause. My thyroid always tests normal too.

  • MoeKay
    MoeKay Member Posts: 474 Member

    If I were you, and if you haven't already done so, I would want to be evaluated by a cardiologist to rule out any heart-related issues.

    As I'm sure you already know, cardiotoxicity is one of the side effects of adriamycin. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1271861/

    In addition, I came across this recent study in the American Journal of Cardiovascular Disease entitled, "Hyperhydrosis, the Neglected Sign in Heart Failure Patients." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8611272/ This article states in part that, "Profuse sweating is a symptom often reported during cardiological outpatient visits or emergency department admission; although extremely debilitating, it is often neglected by clinicians, and not investigated and treated."

    After doing a little more research, I see that there are cardiologists that diagnose and treat heart-related issues caused by cancer treatments called cardio-oncologists: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/24043-cardio-oncologist

    I hope your issues turn out to be nothing serious, but I would want to make sure that no major problems are overlooked.

    Good luck in getting some answers and a resolution soon!




  • Forherself
    Forherself Member Posts: 946 Member

    Welcome Zoehuck. Your post sounds unusual and your symptoms could be from many causes. I would see my Family Doctor. He or she can choose the specialist you see, as there could be many causes. It might take more than one doctor to diagnose these symptoms.

  • BluebirdOne
    BluebirdOne Member Posts: 653 Member

    Hello Zoehuck,

    Welcome,

    There are several obvious causes of hot flashes and or night sweats, menopause, which means less estrogen, but also the imbalance of estrogen to progestins can also be a cause. We here who have also had hysterectomies, bilateral ovary removal, have very little estrogen and can suffer from hot flashes or night sweats long after menopause. I had TERRIBLE hot flashes during menopause which lasted about 10 years, sad to say. I have continued night sweats, no daytime sweating, due to the fact I have no ovaries or uterus, no estrogen. My vaginal tissues are extremely fragile due to the lack of estrogen, so that an internal exam is very uncomfortable. Because my cancer was serous, not estrogen driven, they prescribed an estrogen cream which alleviates most of the pain and "plumps" up my tissues, but if your breast cancer was estrogen dependent you probably cannot have any extra hormones. I would certainly look into what MoeKay says about the cardiac issues. It sounds like you need a complete workup to determine the cause. Good luck to you.

    Denise

  • zoehuck
    zoehuck Member Posts: 4 *

    WOW very interesting. Thank you for this information. I did have a heart attack June 26, 2023. I had a blockage and they dropped 4 stents. I did forget that Adriamycin could affect the heart. Unfortunately I have quite a few predilections for heart disease. Genetics is one. I posted this question in case anyone else is/was experiencing the same profuse sweating years after treatment. As noted previously, these are not “my” normal menopausal hot flashes. This is something else. If they are not latent side effects of chemo or radiation, the sweating could be the result of one or more meds I’ve been put on since the heart attack. I’m searching for a cause and cute. Thank you