Younger woman

Hello,

I am currently having herceptin & finished chemo 6 months ago, as soon as I started chemo my periods stopped which I was fine about but they have come back and now I am most concerned because my cancer is er+, I have briefly spoken to my onc about ovary removal but they seemed to prefer for me to go down the zoladex route. What I want to know is whats the difference? Both put you in to early menopause and if the main concern is that I am producing to much oestrogen with my cycles surely ovary removal would be the answer. I was told that Zoladex would be given along with Tamoxifen for 5 years but then what would happen would my periods return as I’d still only be 40 or does Zoladex stop all of that permanently? Also has anyone else experienced their onc not really wanting to discuss ovary removal is it because of my age? I have had my children so I have expressed that I would feel more at ease having an operation rather than taking more and more medication to suppress this hormone. Also i’ve done my treatments (chemo, radio)to hopefully blitz this bugger but now I feel like thats it i’m not getting much info on what happens next the doctors say they only need to see me every three months so I feel like I’m left hanging wanting to do something more to prevent reoccurrence but not really sure what or who to turn to with regards to alternative therapies. I mean all I’ve been told is that I am fine but should I feel any symptoms to let them know! So now I’m thinking how do they monitor cancer coming back if they can’t see it in blood tests which is all they do to me. I feel like i’m just waiting for it to return because I dont know what else to do to ward it off !! Any advice would be much appreciated.

Hi everythingisrosie

Whilst you wait for the other users to reply with their experiences and knowledge you might find it useful to have a look at the BCC booklet of ovarian ablation and suppression. It has losts of information on when this is used. If you would like to read this on line or order a copy just use the link below:-

www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/publications/treatment-side-effects/ovarian-ablation-suppression-bcc27

Also if you would like to talk things through with someone don’t hesitate to give the helpline a call where you can speak with member of staff who will offer you a listening ear as well as emotional support and practical information. The number to call is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9 to 5pm and Saturday 10 to 2pm

Best wishes Sam, BCC Facilitator

When I finished with my chemotherapy (age 39years old)- periods returned. My oncologist haven’t given me Zoladex. Only Tamoxifen Despite being ER+ HER- Unfortunately, I had metastatic cancer from the start but I was misdiagnosed - lesion in spine given as non cancerous at the time. When periods returned back pain started again… Diagnosed with secondary breast cancer 2 months after my 1st all clear yearly appointment. Since then on Zoladex but oncologist now suggested ovary removal which I will certainly do.
Obviosly very different story to yours but Zoladex injections are so painful and I would think that ovary removal should be an option for you too.
Best of luck with all your treatments
Valia
x

Hi there,
I am 38 and ER, PR and HER 2 positive. I am currently on Zoladex and Letrazole. Zoladex put you in to a chemical menopause - but once you come off your periods can return.
I dont find the Zoladex injections painful at all. I put some EMLA cream on the skin pre injection and they are pretty much pain free. The ovary removal is obviously another op and a much bigger deal!
If you dont want children and are very clear about this - i would talk to your BCN - and you can work together to tackle your Onc. It could well be down to age that they are against the op. But it would be good to understand their justification for saying no.
Rae
x

Thank you Sam, Val & Rae for your replies, I will try and speak to my bcn to see if an appt can be arranged, Rae I have not heard of Letrazole before is that to suppress hormones as well? I hope this delaying of zoladex or ovary removal does cause more problems! i hope tamoxifen is doing what its supposed too!
thank you again ladies

Hiya,
Sorry i have not been on in a while. I could not have Tamoxifen due to clots, so i am being given Letrzaole instead.
Its an Aromatase Inhibitor, and yes is used like Tamoxifen.
Rae
x

Hiya,
Sorry i have not been on in a while. I could not have Tamoxifen due to clots, so i am being given Letrzaole instead.
Its an Aromatase Inhibitor, and yes is used like Tamoxifen.
Rae
x

hi everything, i am waiting for my periods to come back following chemo - my onc has said that it isn’t an issue if they do or don’t (though i would like them too as it would mean i haven’t started the menopause in my 30s). i wasn’t offered zoladex or anything like that to shut down my ovaries, but I belong to a group on Facebook for younger women with BC where this sort of thing is discussed. It’s a fab group and a great alternate source of info and experience - if you’re interested the link is facebook.com/ManchesterYoungerWomensBreastCancerNetwork?book
good luck with it and may be see you there