I will discuss this with my Oncologist, glad I asked as I really don’t want more surgery but as I was only handed an information sheet about the first drug so was relying on the internet to get information about the others.
Most all of the side effects are going to be related to how your body would operate in menopause. Some people may have problems with the generic drugs and need to rotate through them to find something they can more easily tolerate but for the most part it's standard menopause symptoms. AI's (letrozole) and ovarian suppression (lupron) are known for hot flashes, joint pain, and bone loss and tamoxifan for hot flashes and uterine issues. AI's have a lower recurrence rate for tumors who score intermediate or high on the oncotype test. For tumors that have a low score there isn't a statistical difference in regards to the two approaches. However, it seems like you guys have ovarian removal thrown out quite a bit and I'm not sure why. We don't in the US because ovaries are still useful after menopause. The hormones they secrete are very low but they offer some protection against age related diseases such as dementia and osteoporosis. Granted sometimes it's best to remove them and in fact I will be looking into it next year but it doesn't need to be done for convenience because you hate getting a ovarian suppressor shot every month. There are long term consequences for removing them and risk versus reward needs to be considered carefully.
Anyway I'm on the ovarian suppression shot of lupron and take the AI of letrozole every day. Been on it for about three weeks and no side effects that I can tell so far.
Hi, I had a mastectomy and lymph-node clearance in April. Recently finished chemo and radiotherapy and saw my Oncologist who said now I can either take Abemaciclib and Tamoxifen or have monthly injections of Zoladex along with Letrozole or have my ovaries removed and take Tamoxifen.
I'm now 47 and was a bit shocked as I had previously been told I'd just need to take a pill each day for 5 years after treatment.
If anybody is taking or has taken any of these drugs could you advise on the side effects please before I make a decision. Thankyou.
Hi Missymoi. Active ovaries produce oestrogen which feeds the cancer and increases the chance of recurrence. So, particularly if you have a very oestrogen receptive cancer, you can have monthly injections of Zolodex to stop your ovaries working, or have them removed. Debbie x
Goodness me that is such different advice to what I was given. It's so strange when you hear of different practice happening elsewhere.
I was only 49 when put on Zolodex (now 51) because it was discovered after already switching from tamoxifen to anastraole that I was peri menopausual. I am due to have the zolodex injections stopped later this summer as have been told that by then after being on them for over 2 years I would definately be post menopause. However by then I will only be the ripe old age of 52!
Not sure what to think now.
Hi. I was 54 when diagnosed in 2016. Debbie
Just jumping in on this thread. I am on Tamoxifen and monthly Zoladex after being diagnosed at age 51 in Sept 2017 with BC and peri menopausal. My oncologist said if the side effects of Zoladex became unbearable she would be happy for me to have my ovaries removed. Strange how advice differs.
Just read this thread and am interested as have been having Zolodex injections for nearly 2 years now.
When I originally enquired at the start of injections about having my ovaries out I was told no by oncologist as too invasive and would be unnecessary. I'm 51 now and just wondering what ages you all are?
Hi. Yes, I had mine removed. Was diagnosed in 2016 and had left mastectomy. Didn’t need chemo or radio (even though I had a positive lymph node) and am on anastrazole for 10 years. Initially I was also having monthly injections of zolodex to stop ovaries as I wasn’t quite past menopause. Very tiresome having two whammies of hormone treatment so I suggested to my oncologist that I have my ovaries removed. He had been going to suggest it himself when things had settled down a bit for me. So, a year after mastectomy, I did. It was day surgery and recovery wasn’t too long or too bad. I have a small scar above my bikini line. When he discharged me the surgeon who did the op said “congratulations - you’ve done everything you can do “, and no more zolodex injections! It has,of course, pushed me into total menopause, but the zolodex did anyway. Hope this is helpful. Debbie x