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I thought my periods had returned a year after having chemo!!!

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KBO
Member

Re: I thought my periods had returned a year after having chemo!!!

Hmm..Well what i have decided to do is have a chat with my surgeon .I have an appointment in November. I have already spoken to the breast cancer nurse regarding this and she told me that the blood tests to check hormione levels can fluctuate after chemo. I have had another period 25 days after the last one, they are regular has clockwork. i have had all the usual signs. i know my body and i know that its not abnormal bleeding.i was a bit worried at first but im convinced its my periods. i think the blood test wasnt accurate. I can't go through all the stresses of going through any more tests right now, so ill see what they say when i go for my check up. 

I find it annoying that there is no information out there about the affects that chemo has to our ovaries..

Lulu34
Member

Re: I thought my periods had returned a year after having chemo!!!

Kbo

Dont cancel go along anyway seeing as you have the appointment.. You will prib just worry if you dont go... And if you are premenopausal she might be able to see that from you scan. Best wishes xx
Cressida
Member

Re: I thought my periods had returned a year after having chemo!!!

Hmmmm (puts on I am not a doctor but I'll interfere anyway hat).  TSH could be Thyroid Stimulating Hormone.  They may have tested your thyroid function as part of an overall check up, or maybe because you complained of feeling tired (or the opposite)?  Don't think it has anything to do with menopause though.  There was a discussion about thyroid problems in this section of the site recently.  I had problems with mine - I was told post chemo your thyroid hormones can be all over the place.  I think you should get a clearer explanation from your Doc before deciding to cancel anything.

 

xxx

KBO
Member

Re: I thought my periods had returned a year after having chemo!!!

ive just realised that it wasnt a FSH test I had, it was in fact a TSH test and tft diagnostic test...something to do with thyroid function..x
KBO
Member

Re: I thought my periods had returned a year after having chemo!!!

Hi cressida, thanks for your message. I am actually thinking of cancelling the ultrasound because im fairly convinced my periods have returned and its my body getting back to normal. i have been getting all the signs of a period. i have also being told since by the BC nurse that the TSH levels can fluctuate especially after chemo...Btw good look with your bone scan, i hope all goes ok for you xx
Cressida
Member

Re: I thought my periods had returned a year after having chemo!!!

Hi KBO,

 

I was just over 40 when I was diagnosed and not menopausal.  My periods stopped after the second chemo dose.  I have since had more chemo and my periods have not returned nearly 2 years later.  My Onc says that, although the normal definition of menopause is 1 year without periods, if you had chemo you should wait 2 years before deciding you are menopausal.  She does not believe in relying on blood tests, as they can only tell you your hormone levels on the day the blood is taken.  Your levels could change a lot at different times.  Blood tests may be able to tell you if you are perimenopausal but not tell you much else about how far through you are.  They can't tell if you have "finished" or not started yet.  I was told last week that she still considers it about 30% likely that my periods could return.

 

Good luck with the ultrasound - I will be having my bones scanned on Thursday, so feel free to virtually hold hands,

 

xxx

KBO
Member

Re: I thought my periods had returned a year after having chemo!!!

HI Lulu,thanks for your comment.I have got s pelvic ultrasound on Thursday, im dreading it. So scared it's going to be cancer again.x
Lulu34
Member

Re: I thought my periods had returned a year after having chemo!!!

Hi KBO

If you go to the GP with abdo pains then they will check liver and do liver blood tests or maybe even an abdo CT or US scan... they wont send you for a bone or brain scan..... If you present with increasing pain in your back they may do tumour markers (unreliable though) and tests of your blood for anaemia and calcium and may refer you for a bone scan but they wont send you for a liver ultra sound....

They should and usually do check you for signs of mets but only relevant to your symptoms.

Most people wont get mets but most people will get other ailments.... Just because we had BC doesnt mean we wont suffer from normal effects of the ageing process like arthritis, constipation, anaemia, dementia and other medical conditions like heart disease, stoke, type2 diabetes.

Be aware of changes but dont be paranoid.

With respect to being menopausal a year of no periods over age 50 or two years of no periods under age 50 is considered post menopausal..... The closer you are to the menopause the less likely your periods are to come back on chemo..... But as we dont know when you were gonna go through the menopause this is hard concept to grasp..... You were maybe somebody who naturally would have gone through the menopause at 57 so yours have come back, equally you may just be in the minority who come back anyway.

During the peri menopause although for many women their periods lessen there are a huge number who experience very heavy erratic bleeding for a couple of years..... A good resource is the menopausematters website and forum.

I didnt have chemo with my first bc when i was 37 but did get erratic tamoxifen bleeding and had a hysterescopy and D and C...... I asked them to bung in a mirena when i was under the GA.... This was fab as it minimised my bleeding to one miniscule period a year! My cancer was grade 1 so they were willing to consider it and there is quite a lot of info on it minimising tamoxifen effects... The fact your ER neg i would think they would consider it for you too but this is probably a discussion to have with your onc or surgeon.... Mine were both happy with my decision..... Only had it removed 18 months after cancer no 2 (which was TNBC) when i had a hysterectomy for being a brca carrier.

Take care
Lulu x
KBO
Member

Re: I thought my periods had returned a year after having chemo!!!

Can i just ask Salsasylvi, but how do you know you are always checked out if you presented an ailment? what blood tests do they do? My dr wasnt too concerned but wanted me to go for the scan to play safe. If you get secondary breast cancer it tends to go to lungs,liver, brain and bones. x
KBO
Member

Re: I thought my periods had returned a year after having chemo!!!

Hi Salsasylvi, Thanks for you comments..i know that once when i had a blood test they were checking for tumor markers ca15.3 ....i think it was and that was fine but i wasnt aware they checked for secondary cancer all the time.i was stage 3a too xx
Salsasylvi
Member

Re: I thought my periods had returned a year after having chemo!!!

Hi karen

please dont worry

if you have been to GP and had the tests and ultrasound you mention then, you wont have cancer again, as this is what any medical professional is very concerned about.   They may have not told you that  they were looking for any signs but I know every time I present with some ailment after E+ 2nd stage cancer mastectomy chemotherapy (yes my periods stopped) and radiation, I am always checked for secondary cancer whether my bowel my stomach or my reproductive system.   last moth after 6 years without periods and having taken Tampxifen for 5 years -I had a very small period (and I am 62!)with all the old  re symptoms you mention.  I of course was checked with ultrasound and blood tests for uterine cancer (risk when taking Tamoxifen) but it turned out to be a polyp that I had got rid of naturally - the ultrasound showed leftover burst whatever.

if you need reassurance then go back to whoever dealt with your breast cancer and ask to see them - they should see you withoput any problem.

 

Hope this helps a bit

 

KBO
Member

Re: I thought my periods had returned a year after having chemo!!!

Thank you Rattles,well im er- but her2 positive so not triple negative..but its near enough only i can have Herceptin. In fact im wondering if Herceptin can cause the TSH levels in your blood to be inaccurate. Anyway the GP wasn't too worried because she did an internal and said that my cervix looked healthy and then she put her fingers up ( sorry for such lovely info..lol) and she pressed down on my abdomen and after she'd finished she said everything seems ok. She thinks im in between peri menopausal and menopausal. so the bleeding is just the last bits coming out of me..how delightful..lol. But i must be menopausal if i haven't had a period for a year and it does say that if you bleed after a year its abnormal.so i am very confused. Someone also said to me that chemo destroys any cancer cells all over your body so its unlikely i have uterine cancer...xx
Rattles
Member

Re: I thought my periods had returned a year after having chemo!!!

Hi KBO,

 

Revcat has hopefully given you lots of reassurance that in all likelihood your symptoms are not anything sinister 'though it is quite scarey when you find you have a sudden, heavy bleed from nowhere.

 

I went through chemo when I was 40 and like you my periods stopped.  I thought that was it but about a year later had a couple of light bleeds. I eventually ended up having very heavy bleeding. I thought these were periods but when I finally got to see a gynacologist it turned out to be 'flooding' (lovely term, but very apt!) Like Revcat, I had scans which checked the thickening of the womb and for polyps etc. Apparently caused by hormonal fluctuations. I ended up having a mirena coll fitted (my cancer was triple negative).

 

Hopefully, things will settle for you now.My advice would beto keep a diary of symptoms and go back to your GP if you are at all worried.

 

Rattles xx

 

PS I remember getting reallycross with one of the oncologists but they said they were not gynacologists and this was not their area. They did though refer me on.

KBO
Member

Re: I thought my periods had returned a year after having chemo!!!

Thanks Revcat for your mesage, well i'm convinced it's periods and i really don't want to go through any more tests again, its just causing me more and more worry. I guess it's best to get these things checked out but what annoys me is that my onc isn't the slightest bit interested, all they care about is the treatment and the bc side of things but when it comes to other problems they don't want to know, yet chemo does play a big part in causing early menopause and there is no info out there about it. So there are probably many women thinking they have got their periods back when in fact they are bleeding because of some other cause. If i hadn't have had that heavy bleed then i dont think id have rang the GP because as far as i was concerned it was my periods coming back again...I have heard ladies getting their periods back in their 50's
RevCat
Member

Re: I thought my periods had returned a year after having chemo!!!

Hi Karen,

 

I don't know if this will help or not, but here's a brief outline of my story...

 

Diagnosed at age 47 nowhere near menopause.  Had FEC-T, two periods during chemo (one on day of first FEC, deep joy; the second the daddy of all periods ugh!) then no more; told my on that due to age periods very unlikely to restart and any bleed go straight to GP.

 

Started Tamoxifen Feb. 2011 then in Aug 2012 had some bleeding, went straight to GP as onc had told me, whole raft of tests and swabs to rule out infection (which would be interesting given my nun-like life style!!) and referral to gynae.  Transvaginal ultrasound (TVU)showed endometrial hyperplasia (thickening of the womb) so had to have hysteroscopy (camera in womb) and they removed a polyp which was benign.  Phew.  Took three months from bleed to procedure but that's another story.

 

Aug 2013 another bleed so went to GP.  This time rapid referral to gynae, seen in two weeks, TVU showed thickening and 'something' so another hysteroscopy which revealed two polyps and thickening.  Again polyps benign.  Phew again.  I am now planning to speak to my breast team about options - can't be doing this every 9-12 months!

 

In answer to your questions, I don't think there is any evidence to suggest that chemo causes uterine cancer.  There is evidence that Tamoxifen increases the risk of uterine cancer (studies vary but anywhere between double and five times the risk of the general population) which is why any bleeds should be checked out.  I think I read somewhere there about 1 in 10 women whose hyperplasia is Tamoxifen induced turn out to have uterine cancer, so it is still a fairly low risk, would be detected early and treated 'just' by surgery.  As you are not on Tamoxifen (but have been kind enough to read my ramblings) your risk of uterine cancer will not be raised.

 

Bleeding can be, and often is, due to other reasons such as infection or atrophy, as well as a sign that something is wrong in the womb, tubes or ovaries.  For this reason it needs to be checked out.

 

I have never had an FSH test, and I am told they are unreliable, but you could speak about it to your GP.

 

Sorry, that's very rambling, but I wanted to assure you that you are not entirely alone in this respect, and that most likely whatever the cause it is benign.

 

Take care and hope you soon feel much better.

KB0
Member

Re: I thought my periods had returned a year after having chemo!!!

i do hope that somebody can make me feel better because since been diagnosed with bc i am paranoid every little thing i get is cancer...x

KB0
Member

I thought my periods had returned a year after having chemo!!!

Hi all,

It's been a while since i've been on here but sometimes if something is bothering me i like to come on here for support.

Basically it's been over a year since i had chemo for breast cancer, i had radiotherpy and i'm currently on Herceptin with one more to go.  I am not taking Tamoxifen because i am ER-.

Anyway i'm 46 and my periods stopped after second session of chemo, so i basically thought i was going through early menopause, as i believe that chemo can bring this on.  Since July this year i have had a very light bleed, i was also getting all the signs before a period ie like sore boobs etc and at exactly the same time every month.  My bleed was so light that i only needed to wear a panty liner.It wasn't even like spotting.

This month , same thing happened only when day 2 arrived i woke up in the middle of the night with blood all over my bed, on the sheets etc. This scared me very much but i thought perhaps my perionds had come back with a vegence.

I rang the GP the day after and she suggesed that i have a FSH test to check my hormone levels. I got the results and the reading was high, so it was showing i was in fact menopausal. The Dr said im probably peri menopausal and that the bleed ive been getting is the last bits coming out of my body. She did an internal and she said everything seemed satisfactory. She's also sent me for a pelvic untrasound just to play safe but she is fairly certain im inbetween peri menopause and menopause.I have read up about menopause and it says tha if yoou font get a period after a year then you are definitely in menopause, so any bleeding after menopause can be serious ie like womb cancer ect. I am very confused and worried that that either the breast cancer has spread or that breast cancer can cause cancer of the womb.I also was wondering if chemo can affect the FSH levels.

 

I would very much like to hear from  anyone who's had a similar expereince...

 

Many thanks for reading this.

 

Karen xx