Thanks for posting. This sounds like a difficult time.
It’s natural to question whether any of the treatment you have been on or are on have not worked in controlling the cancer.
It would be really difficult to say whether it’s the Zoladex that has been ineffective. It’s not always clear why someone’s cancer might spread or grow while on they are on therapy. Some people become resistant to treatment and research is trying to understand why this is.
It’s also possible that in some situations the areas of secondary breast cancer have different characteristics. So that some will respond to treatment and remain under control, whilst others will progress. Because of this, if possible, oncologists will often biopsy the area that is not responding to treatment to re-check the characteristics and see if it provides any information to suggest that other treatments may be useful. If this hasn’t already been discussed, you can ask your oncologist whether this may be an option for you.
Although it might be difficult for anyone to say what treatment may or may not have helped, you can also talk this through with your oncologist when you see them this week.
I wonder what support you have at the moment. Being diagnosed with secondary breast cancer and feeling as though treatment options are running out can cause a range of many emotions. It can be hard to know what to think, where to turn to for support, and even harder to find anyone who really understands what it feels like to live with the diagnosis.
We provide a number of different services for people living with secondary breast cancer aimed at providing both information and support. Our Helpline team are here for anyone affected by breast cancer. We have time to listen to your concerns, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information.
Some people find it helpful to talk with others who are going through a similar experience. We have a secondary breast cancer online discussion forum for sharing information and support. There is also a weekly Live chat session which runs on Tuesdays at 8.30-9.30pm. Both services allow people to talk over their experiences and offer support to each other.
Our face to face Living with Secondary Breast Cancer monthly sessions also give you the chance to meet and share experiences with other people who understand what you’re going through because they’re going through it too.
In a safe and relaxed environment, our regular sessions provide information about all aspects of living with the disease, as well as the chance to meet and talk openly with other people with the same diagnosis.
You can search for current locations and dates on the above link or you can call 0345 077 1893 for more information.
Do call our Helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. Your call will be confidential and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks.
The number is 0808 800 6000 (Text relay prefix 18001).
Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday. Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.
Breast Cancer Now Nurse
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I will be speaking to my oncologist this week regarding this but I wanted to find out if it was possible.
I found on Thursday that there has been progression to my bones despite the lesions in my skin showing reduction only 6 weeks ago.
I'm ER+ HER - My hormone treatment started with chemo for primary in 2016. When I had mastectomy the pathology showed that more of the breast was affect that originally thought and even though I was having chemo the cancer was still growing within the breast.
I had been on Zoladex from the very first chemo session and started Tamoxifen after finishing radiotherapy. Because I was tolerating the Tamoxifen really well my team wanted to try me on Letrozole however it didn't agree with me so I switched back to Tamoxifen after only a few weeks.
I was happy and settled on the Zoladex and Tamoxifen until I found a new lump outside of the breast in the chest muscle which was confirmed to be secondaries. I was switched from Tamoxifen to Exemstane and started Palbociclib.
The lesions had all showed either reductions or stable but I noticed an area of swelling at the top of my sternum and was given an urgent CT scan. The results of this confirmed that the cancer has now spread to my bones.
My concern is less about the spread and more about the fact that I am running out of hormone treatment options. I am waiting to hear if I have been accepted for a phase 1 trial for a new hormone suppression drug. If this doesn't work or I'm not accepted then I will go on to chemotherapy without any additional hormone suppression.
I have obviously done a lot of thinking and my biggest question now is, it is possible that it is the Zoladex that has been ineffective for me rather than the oral drugs? Is this something that is worth questioning or am I purely clutching at straws.
As I said I will speak to my team about it this week I just wanted to ask the question.
Thanks very much.