Does stopping Zol after 2 yrs increase the risk of return?


Im worried and i probably shouldnt be wasting my time worrying about it as i have only just reached the 1 yr clear mark. I have noticed that some people come off Zoladex after 2 years, my onc said that she would review me after 2 years but because of my age they would probably keep me on the Zol for the full 5 years. BUT now because I get serverley depressed at certain points of the Zol cycle she is now saying that they will prob take me off the zoladex on the 2 yr mark.

I suppose that im worried that with the surge of hormones that we get when coming off zoladex if this increases the chance of the BC coming back? Sorry if this doesnt make sence!


Emily x

Hi Emily
I my experience I would say that it does put you at more risk. My BC has come back and I’m sure this is down to the surge of hormones after I finished Zoladex. I have highly hormone receptive BC but it is slow growing, I’m sure that it hasn’t been a coincidence that nothing showed at all for the 2-3 years after primary dx but a recurrence (and subsequent secondaries) showed up afterwards once I had stopped Zoladex. Without scaremongering Tamoxifen doesn’t work for everyone (it didn’t for me) and therefore the hormones that came back after Zoladex would have been able to ‘feed’ any BC cells lurking around without anything to stop them. If you suffer whilst on Zoladex it is a different matter, you would have to weigh up the pro’s and con’s
Don’t know if this has helped (or not?) but it is my view on the whole hormone/zoladex issue.

Hi Emily

I was 34 at dx in Feb 08 and have been on zoladex and tamoxifen for 15 months now.

I was told the zoladex was for 2 years but as I would only be 36 after the 2 years, plus being 8/8 for hormones, my onc recommended me to have my ovaries removed by keyhole (therefore doing the job zoladex does, but permanently).

I am having this op next week, which means last weeks zoladex injection was my last one, hurray!! I think its worth it to stop the hormones, I wouldnt have liked the thought of them returning after the 2 years.

thanks Ladies, Im going to spk to my onc and request that I stay on it for the full 5 yrs. She has swapped me to the 3 monthly injection now anyway and my moods seem to be an awful lot better.

Thank you very much and all of your advice hs been taken on board!

Emily x

I hope I’m not intruding but I stumbled across this post and I couldn’t help but panic when I read it! I was 37 at diagnosis and was strongly ER positive (8/8). I had chemo and I am now on tamoxifen but when I asked my onc about the possibility of ovary removal he simply said that he wouldn’t recommend it as the effects of an early menopause would be unmanageable and that the risks, therefore, outweighted the benefits. I was, and still am, of the view that I’d rather cope with whatever the side effects of an early menopause might be than put myself at greater risk of recurrence/spread. While I was node negative, for example, I had multifocal grade 3 IDC and was borderline HER2 (++) so I am conscious that the malignancy was aggressive and that there is a real chance this will return. I’m told that my onc used to give Zoladex injections to patients in the past but that, because of a lack of evidence, stopped. I was concerned at the time that I wasn’t receiving this additional protection but to read that some oncs recommend that some women have an oopherectomy after 2 years of injections is just worrying.

I am currently in two minds about transferring to a more local hospital (the Royal Free in Hampstead, London), where practice might be different, but any advice/guidance/reassurance that anyone might give would be gratefully received.


Hi Naz

It seems that these oncs all have such different opinions, especially where zoladex and ovaries are concerned.

I was told at my first appt with my onc that I would be going on zoladex for 2 years and tamoxifen for 5 years, but at anytime I could stop the zoladex and have ovaries removed instead (which I am doing next week).

My gynea consultant says that they dont like doing it at my age (35) but in my situation its the right thing to do. I have been told that the menopause symptoms will be no worse than from the zoladex - well I hope they are right because I only get a few flushes each day!

Hi All,

Breast Cancer Care have a fact sheet on “Ovarian ablation” which may be useful. The link is

Kindest regards


The Royal Free isn’t my hospital but it’s very highly regarded, both in surgery terms and in the oncology department. Alison Jones, who is based there, is one of the pre-eminent experts in breast cancer and specialises in the issues affecting younger women. If there’s anything else you’d like to ask, do PM me.

Naz,you are not alone ! Im 45 premenopausal,100% ER and Pr +ve, I’m in same boat as you, I did think I’d be given zoladex but my onc says results inconclusive and side effects can be dreadfull.Also she didn’t see it as a good thing to have my ovaries out. So it’s just tamoxifen for me…

It is very disconserting when you read of people with the same results having different treatments, wish these oncs would all sing from the same sheet. However, mine does seem to be on the ball and I will put my trust in her, she is very approachable and answers any questions i have so fingers crossed !

Good luck to you all whatever treatments you are having.

Sandra x