Around 30% of women treated for breast cancer will experience the sudden onset of menopause symptoms, as a result of their treatment. Over 200,000 women every year in England will experience this side effect during their cancer care, with no treatment currently offered as standard. If women do not receive support, a quarter will leave employment as a result of their menopause symptoms.
Research shows the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions, non-hormonal medication and, in some cases, the use of vaginal oestrogen for these women. However, the availability of this care is limited by a lack of specialist healthcare professionals. The result is a gap in care, in which breast cancer survivors can find themselves.
The UK’s leading independent cancer care provider, GenesisCare, is now partnering with Bia Care, a digital menopause clinic, to help women get access to the gold standard of menopause care alongside their cancer treatment. Bia Care was created by NHS doctors, with the mission to bring excellent menopause care to women who need it. The virtual clinic offers patients care from leading menopause doctors, dietitians, physiotherapists, and health coaches. The intervention is clinically proven to improve menopause symptoms by up to 60%.
Dr Russell Burcombe, Consultant Oncologist at GenesisCare explains: “Many breast cancer patients suffer with menopausal symptoms for a variety of reasons – chemotherapy-induced ovarian failure, ovarian function suppression or endocrine therapy, for example. Most are advised strongly against the use of HRT for symptom relief. The opportunity to provide menopause advice and non-hormonal interventions through an interactive supportive digital platform is a great opportunity for our patients.”
Dr Juliet Balfour, Chief Menopause Officer at Bia Care adds: “Menopause treatment has been overlooked for a long time as part of cancer aftercare. This is a turning point for the thousands of women affected by this issue every year. It is testament to the power of technology and vision of the UK’s leading healthcare providers that we are able to deliver this service.”