Extended hormonal therapy after ten years

Hello. My mum was diagnosed breast cancer 2008. It was quite advanced in that the entire mastectomy contained tumour and the margins into chest wall were not clear. She had one node containing tumour. She had estrogen postive cancer. She had chemotherapy and radiotherapy. 5 years tamoxifen and 5 years of letrozole. Now the good news is she is still here, alive and well, her original prognosis was not so good. However I am aware that breast cancer can come back as a late recurrence after 10 years. Some research out there suggests extending hormonal therapy past this. Unforunatelty she now has osteoporosis (prob age related and also because of letrozole). Has anyone else out there took hormonal treatment for say up to 15 years. Just thinking of my mum, I worry that she had such a poor prognosis initially and if there were benefits of extended treatment we would ask for this. Fortunately my mum is well 10 years after diagnosis. She is remarkable for being in her sixties!

Is it possible for your mum’s GP to refer her to a consultant oncologist for advice? Presumably she is no longer directly under one, it being at least 10 years since her treatments ended. I think there are reasons for not giving hormone therapy indefinitely and that after a certain length of treatment, it ceases to be effective. You need to discuss this with a specialist.


You could ask about bisphosphonate therapy as it is a treatment for osteoporosis, and there is also evidence that it can reduce the likelihood of secondary breast cancer taking hold in the bone.


The websites I have been advised by my oncologist to keep to for information are:

The NHS sites

Breast Cancer Care


Cancer Research UK

Thanks. She has another oncology review in october. I presume that is when they intend to take her off letrozole as that will be 10 years of the hornonal treatments. At the last appointment she had they wanted to take her off letrozole because of the bone density results, however when they entered her risks the predictor/ calculator indicated it was significant and statistically better to staybom letrozole despite osteoporosis. She is currently on the weekly bisphosphonate risedronate. I will defintely go with her again to the appointment. Found some recent articiles to suggest better to take hormonal treatments for up to 15 years, will see what they say/ recommend. NHS has been so good! We are so lucky to live in UK. ??

Hi Radio,
I remember being told by the bcn that there was a recommendation that looked at 15 years, rather than 10, so defo worth asking about it.
ann x