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Posts: 280
Joined: Oct 2017

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. 

cmb's picture
Posts: 478
Joined: Jan 2018

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.

Posts: 570
Joined: Oct 2009

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!!!! 

Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

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.   

Posts: 280
Joined: Oct 2017

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's picture
Posts: 166
Joined: Oct 2017

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!

lucindaw's picture
Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2018

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's picture
Posts: 1641
Joined: Jun 2015

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,


Posts: 280
Joined: Oct 2017

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

Posts: 111
Joined: Jan 2018

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's picture
Posts: 903
Joined: Jan 2016

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's picture
Posts: 123
Joined: Aug 2016

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

Posts: 293
Joined: Dec 2017

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.

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