Why do breast cancer treatments cause menopause?
Treatments for breast cancer can affect the ovaries in a number of ways. These effects can be temporary or permanent Temporary and permanent menopause can occur in women receiving chemotherapy or hormonal therapies (drugs like tamoxifen or goserelin [Zoladex®]). Temporary menopause is more common among women who are younger than 35 at the time of treatment. If menopause is temporary, menstrual periods may return within 1 year of stopping treatment. Permanent menopause is more common among women who are 40 or older at the time of treatment. There is no reliable test to predict whether menopause will be temporary or permanent. Although normal menstrual periods may return once treatment finishes, menopause may be permanent, regardless of age.