ANA Discussion Forum

Pre-Treatment Options => Pre-Treatment Options => Topic started by: ORIT on March 31, 2009, 05:53:25 am

Title: menopause question
Post by: ORIT on March 31, 2009, 05:53:25 am
I am 49 years old, was diagnosed 4 years ago with acoustic neuroma which is very small (0.3 mm).  I decided to be 'wait and scan' and that MRI results are thankfully showing that the tumor has not grown.  Lately I have been going through various menopause symptoms (weight gain, hot flashes, irritability, etc).  When I asked my gynecologist for estrogen, he was hesitant to prescribe due to the neuroma.  What should I do?

Thank you in advance for your advice

Orit :( >:(
Title: Re: menopause question
Post by: EJTampa on March 31, 2009, 07:25:46 am
Hi Orit,
I'm not really the right person to answer your question, but I at least wanted to welcome you to our group.  Congratulations on being member number 3,500, although there is no prize, and I'm sure you'd rather not have the acoustic neuroma.
Did your doctor offer you alternative ways of dealing with the symptoms?  I think he/she is concerned about the possibility of increased growth rate with hormones.  Studies have shown that the tumors grow faster when certain hormone levels are higher in the body, such as when a woman is with child.
I guess in the end, if nothing else can help your symptoms, it would have to be looked at with a risk versus reward point of view.  Are the menopausal symptoms so bad that it would be worth the risk of jump starting the growth of the tumor?  49 years old is quite young in todays world, so you have decades left to live with the AN.
Hopefully others will chime in here, maybe we have someone who has been or still is in your shoes. 
Title: Re: menopause question
Post by: NancyMc on March 31, 2009, 07:46:06 am
Sorry, but first I had to laugh when I saw that the first responder to the menopause question was Ernie.
However, if I were in your situation, I would try all the alternative therapies shown to be effective before using estrogen.
I did not have symptoms with menopause, so I can not empathize.
I am glad you have a doctor who is concerned with your entire health history and not simply the one in his/her specialty.  That's impressive.
You may never have to have AN treatment if you can avoid growth by not encouraging it.
Best of luck with this new health issue,
Title: Re: menopause question
Post by: EJTampa on March 31, 2009, 07:57:20 am
Sorry, but first I had to laugh when I saw that the first responder to the menopause question was Ernie.

Men suffer just as much as women as they go through menopause, maybe more :)  (I better hide now).
Title: Re: menopause question
Post by: Cheryl R on March 31, 2009, 08:32:14 am
I have asked my surgeon about the hormone theory and he said he doesn't agree with it, that hormones cause growth.               I do know I was early menopause and was on hormones when my AN experience got going.           I do not believe though that it caused the NF2.    I was off of them by sometime in 2003 and it was then the NF2 was found.                  I did not take Prempro.
                                   Cheryl R
Title: Re: menopause question
Post by: Jackie on March 31, 2009, 06:03:08 pm
Hello Orit,

I was on estrogen for 18 years, right after my Hysterectomy, got off estrogen on doctors advice, dealt with hot flashes for about 4 years, now, they are gone. I would NOT chance being on hormones and maybe giving your AN a growth spirt. Just my opinion. Good luck on your decision.
Title: Re: menopause question
Post by: ppearl214 on April 01, 2009, 08:31:44 am
there have been many discussions here over the past many years about the possibility of estrogen receptors and the connection with AN's/tumors.  I just did a search option and there is much.

Please go to the forum home page, then, do a 'search' for "estrogen". You will see much.

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: menopause question
Post by: lori67 on April 01, 2009, 09:15:33 am
Well, we all know Ernie is in touch with his feminine side....menopause answers, pink laptop, leopard print scarf.... ;D

I agree with avoiding the hormones with an AN.  They say that can make the AN grow faster.  There are a lot of alternative therapies out there though - I know of soy being one of the more popular ones.  I'm sure if you go to a health food store, there's probably a whole wall full of stuff for menopause, because so many women are reluctant to take hormones these days.

And back to Dr. Phil again (I swear I don't sit on the couch all day and watch Dr. Phil, I just happen to remember the ones I have seen!), when his wife was going through "the change", she took all herbal remedies to help with her symptoms and had very good luck with it.  I guess the key is finding out which ones will help alleviate your symptoms.

Good luck!
Title: Re: menopause question
Post by: Glenda on April 01, 2009, 02:35:48 pm
Hi Orit,

I am in the same boat as you.  I am 50 and am going through menopause too.  My AN was found about a year and a half ago, and I am also in wait and watch.  I have elected to go the "natural" route.  I take an over the counter tablet that has soy, black cohash and some other ingredients.  I am at work now but will look when I go home and give you the name.  It is "women's something" I buy it at Walmart.  It may take a few days to a week or two to get in your system before you see results but it does seem to help lessen hot flashes and effects of menopause.  My doctor also prescribed ambian to help me sleep at night.  I don't take it regularly because I don't want to become dependent on it but if I go several nights and do not rest I take one so that I can get a good nights rest, that makes a world of difference in how you feel.  I sympathize with you and I hope that for both of us menopause doesn't linger for too much longer :)

Title: Re: menopause question
Post by: suz on April 03, 2009, 09:26:26 pm
Thanks for bringing up this topic. I am a Watch and Wait-er with a 1.5cm unchanging AN; 48 years old and experiencing all of those lovely symptoms of hot flashes, etc. I never considerred a connection with estrogen and the growth of the tumor.  So maybe it's a blessing that my estrogen level is naturally declining! None of my specialists even questioned prescribing Premarin creme for me. Oddly, it seemed to increase my dizziness so I have been hardly using it.  What has helped me is "Black Cohosh Pro" a pharmeceutical grade herb, and mindful meditation. I have read that women who are more sensitive or prone to anxiety have worse menopausal symptoms, and I have noticed that when I am stressed I get more flashes. Meditation has been really helpful overall in decreasing stress and hotflashes.
I am learning so much from this forum and all of you!
Title: Re: menopause question
Post by: suboo73 on April 07, 2009, 03:47:35 am
Hello Orit!  Thank you for bringing up this topic.  I have no major menopause symptoms, but horrible, irregular periods.  Right BEFORE my AN diagnosis, my GYN wanted me to take low does hormones.  I said no.  -  Now i don't know if hormones contribute to growth or not, but my next visit to the GYN should be more interesting, whether or not she agrees with me. (And i am glad i did not take the hormones for now.)

I agree with Nancy MacD - isn't it WONDERFUl that your doc is considering your total health?

I think i will do some more research on this one.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Title: Re: menopause question
Post by: moe on April 07, 2009, 09:08:20 am
Dear Orit, Ernie, Suz, and Glenda
We help you, you help us! Agree with staying away from estrogen, Orit.

I'm almost 48 and not yet menopausal but DREAD that time of life, what with my history of emotional labile personality , and all my AN nuances.
On the side, what does PMS mean, Ernie since you are very well rounded on women 's issues...... :-\

That's right, Ernie, it means "putting up with men's #@*!"
Honestly, you sound like a great guy, but hey women are from mars and men are from venus (we are very different)

I am on assortive meds and they help with the mood swings and tinnnitus.

Will try that BLACK COHASH  PRO when the time comes- thanks Suz and Glenda ;)
Title: Re: menopause question
Post by: EJTampa on April 07, 2009, 09:20:22 am
That's right, Ernie, it means "putting up with men's #@*!"
Honestly, you sound like a great guy, but hey women are from mars and men are from venus (we are very different)

Well, it's no secret that in general, women get along better with women and men get along better with men.  It's just the way of it.  My earlier comment was, of course, a joke...and a reply to Nancy because she was laughing at me for replying :).
But...I do agree with the mars and venus thing.  My wife and I are two very different people.  We love each other very much and do lots of things together, but we would have never been matched up on one of those online dating gigs :).
And yes, I am a "nice guy".  I am very supportive and would never intentionally down play the emotions and physical ailments that come with menopause.  Thanks for keeping me on my toes!