Positivity about Hormone treatment helps side effects!?

Hi all,

as my adjuvant treatment will soon come to an end I shall be joining the many of you, who are on hormone treatment. For me it shall be Letrozole for the next 10 years at least.

Whilst exlporing the hullabaloo about HRT and breast cancer this morning I came across this. 

It certainly makes interesting reading…

QUOTE - Meanwhile a separate study has found that women who expect the worst from a type of breast cancer treatment are more likely to suffer adverse side-effects.
The research, published in the Annals of Oncology, found that women with a negative perception of receiving hormone therapies such as tamoxifen suffered nearly twice the number of side-effects than women with positive expectations or who thought the effects would not be too bad.
The authors looked at 111 women in Germany who had had treatment for hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.
They questioned the patients about their expectations of the effect of taking hormone therapy at the start of the trial and then assessed them at three months and at two years. Those with higher expectations of side-effects at the start of the study saw a 1.8 increase in their occurrence after two years.
Prof Yvonne Nestoriuc, from the University Medical Centre, Hamburg – who led the study – said: “Our results show that expectations constitute a clinically relevant factor that influences the long-term outcome of hormone therapy.
“Expectations can be modified so as to decrease the burden of long-term side-effects and optimise adherence to preventive anti-cancer treatments in breast cancer survivors.” - END QUOTE

What are your thoughts on this?

Sue x

It’s the fear factor of reading the little leaflet that comes in the box with the pills that scares us all!! I took tamox for 2 years and then 3 years on arimidex and it was mind over matter that the little pill was doing something good!!
I’m now on letrozole …all the pills have se but most of them are just irritations rather anything too life changing .
Most of you will have done the worst bit …chemo so taking a tiny little pill each day will seem a doddle! !

Hi RoadRunner,
I absolutely understand where you are coming from. I guess that as hot flushes are part of menopausal symptoms, they may have discounted those. Tamoxifen, in effect, induced an early menopause. I went into the menopause at 40 and had all related symptoms. And in many ways the night sweats are the worst. Since then I only have clothing out of natural materials, feather down bedding and pure cotton sheets. It helps me sleep through the night. Although I must say - the bedding is sometimes soaked on the morning. Lots of airing and washing, lol. Worth it though for an uninterrupted nights sleep.
Sue x

Hiya roadrunner and sue
I do sympathise with you both with the night sweats!! Im 64 and getting them with letrozole too!
Another little trick to keep cool at night is put loads of cream ( anything will do) on your feet …if they r cool .it stops a lot of heat rising. Also put a baby wipe on your forehead !!!
Best I’d luck

I have been on Letrozole for just over 2 years, and fortunately didn’t have to have Chemo. I purposely didn’t read about s/e’s at the start, I was OK for the first 6 months and then prescribed a different form of Letrozole, then I started suffering all the “usual suspects” regarding s/e’s and decided I would investigate, and yes, everything I have is contained in the leaflet. After about 12 months I requested my GP to specify Femara and although I still have terrible joint pains in my legs and the dreaded sweats I really feel that everything else is bearable. I’ve never taken HRT and went through the menopause 20 years ago, and I don’t believe those who say it’s “all in the mind”. On the bright side I should have only another 8 years on the Femara, and feel fortunate to be here at all.

To be honest ladies I think the younger ladies suffer more with the side effects of hormones than the older ladies like myself ( 64) most of our oestrogen went in our 40s and 50s so our bodies arnt having to adapt to the deprivation so suddenly.!!
They are very powerful little pills and do a lot to protect from secondary relapses . I don’t know whether primary ladies realise that they are also used as first line treatments for secondaries too …these pills “control” the bone Mets for some ladies for years without the big guns of chemo.

Interesting carolyn…I had seen it come up a few times in secondary use but wasn’t entirely sure of the instances of use. I think you are right about the age thing making a difference…I am 47 and no signs of menopause at all (to date).

In the mid forties most women’s hormones are in over drive for a natural change of life anyway and to break nature with a hormone pill is bound to have a huge knock on effect to the body which to most of you has been through chemo and rads recently as well.
I will add …I am not medically trained and its only my thoughts on these things …it might b hocus pocus !!!
Carolyn xxx

Yes .I think sometimes the importance of the little hormone pill is not explained very well and I took tamox/ arimidex for the standard five years after my primary …didn’t have a clue what it did but just get popping them!!

The medical profession just focus on prescribing these things and not the side effects and its good we have sites like this to post our problems and worries to !!
And let off steam !!!
Carolyn xxx