Hot Flashes

Hot Flashes

Cancer treatment-related hot flashes may also be referred to as hot flushes, vasomotor symptoms, night sweats, and menopausal symptoms. A hot flash has been defined as a sensation of heat that may be accompanied by facial flushing, perspiration, chills, heart palpitations, night sweats, and feelings of anxiety. Hot flashes may be part of a symptom cluster that includes other problems such as fatigue and sleep disturbance. This experience tends to be transient and unpredictable, and has been most often described among women with breast cancer and men with prostate cancer who have received medical or surgical castration (androgen ablation). Androgen ablation has been associated with hot flashes in up to 80% of patients, and the prevalence of hot flashes among breast cancer survivors has been reported to be more than 78%. Cancer treatment can result in earlier onset of menopause and worsening of existing menopausal symptoms among women.

Click here for instructions on navigating the ONS PEP webpages. Have a question about how to apply this PEP topic to your practice? Ask a nurse on ONS staff at

This topic was updated on September 9, 2016. Learn more about these changes

2011–2017 Authors

Marcelle Kaplan, RN, MS, AOCN®, CBCN®, Janet Carpenter PhD, RN, FAAN, Elizabeth Abernathy, APRN, MSN, AOCNS®, Maria Paz Fernandez-Ortega, RN, PhD(c), Jacqueline Foster RN, OCN®, MPH, Dale Grimmer RN, MS, AOCN®, CCRC, and Suzanne Mahon, RN, DNSc, AOCN®, APNG

ONS Staff: Margaret M. Irwin, PhD, RN, MN, Lee Ann Johnson, PhD, RN, Christine M. Maloney, BA, Kerri A. Moriarty, MLS, and Mark Vrabel, MLS, AHIP, ELS


2010 Authors

Marcelle Kaplan, RN, MS, AOCN®, CBCN®, Suzanne Mahon, RN, DNSc, AOCN®, APNG, Diane Cope, RN, PhD, ARNP-BC, AOCNP®, Stacey Hill, RN, BSN, Elizabeth Keating, RN, MS, NP, CBCN®, and Marcie Jacobson, RN, BSN, OCN®

Librarian: Andy Hickner, MSI

ONS Staff: Kristen Fessele, RN, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCN®