UCLA medical researchers are looking for 300 former breast cancer patients to participate in a free five-month study that will help cancer survivors reduce common symptoms of menopause.

Breast cancer treatments such as chemotherapy frequently cause an abrupt onset of menopause in women and an increased intensity of menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes.

The severity of menopause often makes it harder for women who have had breast cancer to adjust, said Barbara Kahn, coordinator of the study.

The UCLA researchers are trying to determine whether non-hormonal medications really ease menopause in breast cancer survivors, Kahn said.

The women who participate will be asked to take prescription medications and to keep a diary of their symptoms.

A nurse practitioner will follow their progress.

Women who have had breast cancer one to five years ago and who experience severe menopause are eligible for the study, Kahn said.

"Believe me, they know who they are," she said.

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