The 60-year-old soap actress from Lancashire, who plays Sally Metcalfe in the ITV programme, was diagnosed when she was 46, and revealed that she entered the transitional stage earlier than she expected.
Cancer treatments can often cause women to enter menopause prematurely due to changing hormone levels, leading to symptoms including hot flashes, anxiety and nigh sweats.
Speaking on Loose Women about that time, Sally, said she felt would suddenly start to feel nervous and unsure.
Coronation Street star Sally Dynevor has called for ‘a wider conversation to be had about menopause’ as she opened up about being unable to take HRT after battling breast cancer
‘And suddenly I just remember walking into work one day and thinking, “Oh my gosh I’m really nervous, I feel really anxious, if anybody talks to me I just want to cry”.’
She said that meeting with hormone specialist Dr Annice Mukherjee was vital in helping her understanding everything that was happening in her body.
‘It just kind of overwhelmed me a little bit,’ Sally explained.
‘But then I met Annice at the school gates and we were really good friends ’cause our daughters were in the same class and she’d been amazing because during my breast cancer she’d kind of guided me through what was going to happen to me and explained things to me because I didn’t know what was going on.
‘I knew I was going through the menopause but when I got those symptoms of being anxious I didn’t realise that’s what it was, they were linked, I just thought: “Why am I feeling like this?”.’
Adding that ‘every woman is completely different’, Sally also shared that what really helped her deal with symptoms was going to the gym.
‘I just suddenly thought, “I really need to do this for my mental health”. I know that’s really boring.’
Sally can’t take HRT to deal with menopause symptoms because doctors often don’t recommend it to those with a history of breast cancer.
The 60-year-old soap actress, who plays Sally Metcalfe in the ITV programme, got diagnosed when she was 46, and revealed that she entered the transitional stage earlier than she expected
Speaking on Loose Women about that time, Sally, said she felt would suddenly start to feel nervous and unsure
‘I think there’s a wider conversation to be had about menopause and the fact that everybody says, “Oh you know, I take HRT”. I can’t take HRT so I have to find other ways.
‘One size doesn’t fit all and we need to be talking about other ways of coping.’
Dr Annice – who herself had breast cancer when she was 41 and also dealt with premature menopause due to treatment – also shared her insights on the programme.
‘I had a menopause overnight, and it’s a shock. It’s pretty sudden,’ she admitted.
‘Everybody’s menopause experience is different. I knew exactly what I was dealing with so it wasn’t actually that hard for me because I knew at every stage what was happening.
‘I’d actually looked after many women going through breast cancer, before I got it myself.’
She too echoed Sally’s sentiments that there must be more information about alternatives to HRT.
‘There is a link (between HRT and breast cancer) but we don’t really understand what that link is,’ she explained.
Dr Annice – who herself had breast cancer when she was 41 and also dealt with premature menopause due to treatment – also shared her insights on the programme
‘If you’ve got genes that predispose you to getting breast cancer, that might bring breast cancer earlier, if you take HRT. But generally speaking most people who haven’t had oestrogen receptor-positive breast cancer – if they’re struggling with severe menopausal symptoms – most situations, you can at least have a trial.’
Dr Annice also encouraged women to focus on things they can do for themselves, such as making sure that they’re moving everyday, filling their plate with whole foods, focusing on getting good sleep where possible and managing their stress levels.
While hormone replacement therapy is safe within recommended levels, The Mail on Sunday revealed earlier this year that many women are taking mega-doses to tackle menopause symptoms after seeing advice on social media.
One GP leader said she regularly sees patients who have increased their medication intake beyond the safety limits set by HRT makers and blamed misleading messages online that ‘more is better’ to reduce symptoms such as hot flushes, mood swings and brain fog.
Now research from gynaecological cancer charity The Eve Appeal has found that most women are unaware of the risks of taking too much oestrogen – a female sex hormone which decreases with age, causing most of the symptoms of menopause. The charity said its survey – which polled 2,000 women in the UK – shows a need to educate women about the link between excess oestrogen and womb cancer, which affects almost 10,000 women each year.
Excess oestrogen can also be caused by health conditions such as obesity and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and has also been linked to ovarian and breast cancer.
‘Factors which increase the level of oestrogen in the body – conditions such as PCOS and medications such as HRT – therefore increase the risk of these cancers,’ says Dr Aziza Sesay, a GP who works with The Eve Appeal. ‘Being aware of this and learning how to reduce this risk is lifesaving.’
HRT contains compounds similar to hormones oestrogen and progesterone. Typically, women are prescribed it in patch, gel or spray form and the drug is absorbed through the skin.
Experts say excessive amounts of the hormone can trigger anxiety, palpitations and mood swings. Patients can also suffer tachyphylaxis – where they need ever more hormonal treatment to feel ‘normal’.
In the longer term, if doses of oestrogen and progesterone are not taken in the right balance, the womb lining may thicken – known as endometrial hyperplasia. This can lead to heavy bleeding and increases the risk of womb cancer.
In August, Dr Katie Barber, who runs a GP-led NHS gynaecology service in Oxfordshire, told the MoS that ‘roughly one in ten’ women on HRT that she saw were taking ‘two or even three times the maximum dose’.
She added: ‘Safety studies into HRT in these doses have not been done.’
Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com