Thanks for posting.
Letrozole can cause a range of side effects. The severity of these can vary so much from person to person. Some women tolerate it very well, others do not and it can really impact on quality of life. When side effects develop and don’t settle down (which can sometimes happen when you first start taking it) some women may try ways of managing the side effects or try a different drug. Some however do decide to discontinue it. It’s not clear from your post if you are having side effects or concerned about them developing.
While there have been many studies looking at hormone therapy adherence, we are not aware of any overall figures that say how many women do stop taking it and at what point. These studies also don’t tell us is what the outcome of discontinuing was.
The aim of hormone treatment like letrozole is to reduce the risk of the cancer returning. It might be helpful to discuss this again with your oncologist. You may, together with your oncologist, be able to go through the online decision making tool NHS Predict. This can help demonstrate the potential additional benefit of different treatments for early invasive breast cancer after surgery. You can then weigh up the benefits against the potential drawbacks for your individual situation.
Do call our free, confidential Helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The number is 0808 800 6000.
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Breast Cancer Care Nurse
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Hi Maxy, I think you need to qualify your remark re Letrozole. You haven’t tried it yet, so are reacting to those on here who have issues with it. There are loads of success stories, but because everything’s ok no one reports it! I’ve been on it for three years and it is a very successful drug for me. My 4 lung mets are well controlled. I have some joint aches, but I’m 72! Don’t forget that it’s not the drug per se, but the fillers that can cause unwelcome side effects. I attend the local gym four times a week, do TaiChi at Maggies, and generally have a better life than previously as I now appreciate it more.
If your MDT have advised this drug then there are medical reasons. It’s not a whim on their part. It may be that biopsies show it is likely to return and the Letrozole will extend your life, or that it was a particularly aggressive type that needs strong measures to keep it at bay. These drugs cost a lot of money, so let someone else who really wants it have them. At the end of the day it is your body, and it’s your decision. Good luck whatever your decision.
I am taking Letrozole for 10 years not five - started 16 days ago . Only SE bit of sweating slight stomach upset but tired . To me it is a small price to pay for a better chance of long-term survival from cancer . The more of us stick to the meds the more it can properly. E measured how much they help us . I really do not get why women would not take Letrozole if it has been prescribed by those who are trying to cure us
I was diagnosed with Invasive ducal left breast carcinoma in March and then had the 22mm tumour removed. My sentinel lymph glands were clear. I had 15 lots of Radiotherapy and I’m now taking Letrozole.
I am not happy taking Letrozole especially with all the side effects it causes and I do not want to try an alternative. I have told my Oncologist this and I have told her that I will take them and see how I get on but I am not happy having to take this medication for 5 yrs.
Do you know what percentage of women stop taking this medication? I can’t believe its not high due to the way it makes you feel!