We're stating the obvious here but receiving a cancer diagnosis is life changing. Combine it with the new and unwanted side effects of early menopause. Now imagine trying to cope with all this within a healthcare system that is not set up to cope with your specific needs. Because, no matter how great our NHS is, women's health issues can sometimes be neglected. That's why we created our genuinely unique, expert led and evidence based Navigating Menopause programme. And that's why we're totally pumped to announce that the National Lottery Community Fund will be supporting the programme for the next 12 months.

We tend to avoid saying #grateful in relation to cancer, but that's exactly what we are. Over the next year this groundbreaking, 6-week online project will provide emotional & practical support for people experiencing menopause by tackling taboos, providing advice, tips and guidance. 

48% of oncology or clinical nurses were NOT discussing menopause

Many people don't even know that some cancer treatments can force you into early menopause. Research shows us that up to 40% of women under the age of 40 go into permanent menopause as a result of their treatment. It's a side effect we don't often hear that much about (because we don't talk about menopause that much generally), but the long-term impact can be devastating. Through conversations with our community, we also discovered that a massive 48% of oncology or clinical nurses were NOT discussing menopause during diagnosis or at the end of treatment. Of those that did receive some sort of conversation with a health care professional, 98% felt the support was not good enough for their needs. The result of this lottery of information, often means that those experiencing these new side effects were doing so with very little, knowledge, support or the confidence that they'd be able to cope with and get through these new challenges. They find themselves confused and fearful for their future long-term health.

Being diagnosed with cancer is isolating enough without being young and experiencing all the symptoms of early menopause. The aim of our Navigating Menopause programme is to empower and equip people who are going through menopause with tools and information so they can navigate this change of life in a way that is right for them. 

Physical and emotional support

We focus on physical and emotional support for young people experiencing menopause at the beginning of their cancer journey, but also aim to provide  confidence and practical opportunities to get life back on track, whatever that means for them. Designed by our community, for our community and headed up by Dani Binnington, aka Healthy Whole Me, we create a safe place to meet others who understand the struggle and the juggle of going through two things that are 'supposed to happen to older people'. 

We're chuffed to have a bunch of experts on board too. Philippa Kaye helps the community navigate how to get the best help from GP, Annice Mukherjee explores the medical options that aren't HRT, and we talk about vaginal health with Sam Evans. And that's just scratching the surface.

On top of all that? We offer an 8-week exercise programme tailored to those people going through menopause. Research shows that weight bearing exercise and cardio can reduce hot flushes, improve bone density and cardiovascular health as well as brain health all of which are negatively impacted by menopause

Menopause WILL affect over 50% of the population. It IS a fact of life. It's NOT going anywhere. How we talk, support and plan for this natural stage of life needs to change. Trekstock is committed to furthering this cause within the cancer community and beyond. Find out more about Navigating Menopause and sign up for our next course.

“I wish I had access to all this information at the very start of my menopause journey. I can't believe this guidance and education isn't provided by the NHS to young adults with cancer and we're left to seek it out ourselves, if at all.”
“It’s 3 years since I went through the menopause and no one from my oncology team or GP have taken any responsibility when it comes to helping me navigate it. It’s taken a few sessions with you guys to feel more educated and informed when it comes to my options.”
“Since the Lifting the Lid menopause talk, I went to speak to my GP & breast care nurse who then put me in touch with a gynaecologist at my hospital. We're now in the process of working out how my life can be improved; I don't think I'd have even started this process or reached out for help if I hadn't attended the menopause talk. I'm definitely going to try and practice "if it bothers you, see a doctor" too.”