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Hormones to shrink a tumor?

31 REPLIES 31
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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

Hi metalmaiden

 

Did your tumour shrink?

Preet 

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Hormones to shrink a tumor?

Hi Elaine 

Please could you tell me what is the outcome of your treatment?

I have been advised letrozol herceptin perjeta. They said no chemo for me as its too dangerous. 

 

Just wanted to know did your tumour shrink?

Did you leave out the surgery?

 

I'm thinking that surgery is not needed if tumour shrinks

 

Preet 

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

Hi Elaine 

Please could you tell me what is the outcome of your treatment?

I have been advised letrozol herceptin perjeta. They said no chemo for me as its too dangerous. 

 

Just wanted to know did your tumour shrink?

Did you leave out the surgery?

 

I'm thinking that surgery is not needed if tumour shrinks

 

Preet 

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

This letrozole could very well be my answer. I'm also looking to shrink the tumor ASAP. To oncologist and they're both totally Inside the Box with blinders. Can anyone recommend and oncologist that is familiar with letrozole. I'm in Atlanta Georgia area however anywhere is possible
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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

Hi Navywife,

 

I just got a similar diagnosis to yours September 2018. The oncologist made similar suggestions - 1 mg daily of  Anastrozole to shrink the tumor and then, if it does, lumpectomy instead of mastectomy. The timeline was similar to what you stated as well - recheck at 3 month to see if it is working, then surgery at about 6 months. I'm only 2 weeks on the meds. No side effects yet that I have noticed. 

 

FYI - I had the Mammoprint and Oncotype test done which showed that hormone therapy would be more effective than chemo for me.

 

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

This is what I found when I was researching:

 

There can be a response up to 1 year+ and optimum duration is 8 - 10 months.

 

I was diagnosed in 2013, and this approach was quite new then.

 

Sue  xx

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

Hello Navywife,

 

If you read through this thread, you will see that I was taking letrozole to shrink my tumour, and was taking it for over a year before my lumpectomy.  I did a lot of research at the time, and found some studies carried out in Edinburgh that stated the optimum time was around 9 months. I had no measured response for 6 months (although I felt that the lump was changing, becoming softer) and then a few months later 50% reduction. The initial tumour was estimated around 40mm, and was removed at 16mm.

You have to do what you are comfortable with.

Have been on letrozole for nearly 5 years, another 5 to go!!

Wish you all the best.

Regards -  Sue

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

Welcome Navywife, It's good to hear that a Anastrozle is working well for you, we generally take these things after treatments as a follow on precaution so don't actually have any evidence that they are doing their job.

 

We have ladies here who have chemo prior to an op to shrink large tumours but I'm not sure about any now who were just on hormone therapy as this is an old thread , I think most of us have lumpectomy/Mastectomy first so I'm not sure about time scales for taking this but I guess your oncologist would be keen to have your cancer removed sooner rather than later as although it is shrinking you will still have an active tumour. 

 

Hopefully someone will come along who can give you more information about it Xx Jo 

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

I just found this thread.  In Oct of 2017, I was diagnosed with invasive lobular breast cancer ER/PR + HER-.

stage 2 due to size 3.5cm.  I didn’t want a mastectomy so they offered me Anastrozle to shrink the mass.  It shrank 20% in the first 3 months.  My oncologist suggested last week that they only wanted to give this 6 months.  How long do you normally wait before moving to lumpectomy?  6 months doesn’t seem very long.

I was told this is slow growing cancer, therefore slow shrinking. Other than hot flashes and achiness I feel fine.  I even lost a few pounds.  Any thoughts?

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

Hello Elaine,

If you read through this thread, you will see that my tumour shrunk taking letrozole, and was able to have a lumpectomy. I totally get that you want to avoid invasive treatment - I was against chemo from the start, and although advised, I refused.  You have to do what is right for you -  you may still need a lumpectomy some time in the future, but it really is not a big deal and I am the biggest coward out.

My tumour was grade 1 and I had 1 positive lymph node.

I did have radiotherapy, was really tempted not to - it's the long term effects that are concerning.

Good Luck

Sue 

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

Hello Everyone, I found this thread so don't know if anyone will reply here but read with interest re the letrozole... I only got diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer yesterday and because of various factors in my life and personal preference and because my tumour is slow growing and only 18mm I am preferring to change my diet and use natural non invasive treatments, so turned down for now at least the offer of surgery and chemotherapy but seriously considering the hormone treatment due to much less severe possible side effects... I would then take that alongside the complimentary medicine and the Dr has said it is always my choice.... Booked in for a check up on 1st Nov for physical examination.... My lymph nodes are all clear too..... I have to let my nurse know tomorrow if I want to go ahead with letrozole and from reading all your comments I am 90% convinced that I will go ahead with it..... I am hoping if I don't get bad side effects and it does reduce the cancer possibly alongside my own efforts in my diet etc I won't need to be cut open or have chemotherapy... Thanks to this forum I now have more hope...

Elaine
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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

no - I was supposed to start the chemo in January but my oncologist has said I will be on letrozole for the foreseeable future and if it stops working, he will change to another hormone thereapy.  The tumours are shrinking and it is just such a relief.

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

Thanks ever so much - had another check up on 10th January and am now to be on letrozole for the foreseeable future - it is fantastic news and the side effects are minimal - can cope quite easily - what a difference it makes feeling well again

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

That's such good news Fidonald, you must be so relieved. So are you not having chemo at all now? 

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

That's wonderful I'm so happy for you. Amazing results just taking letrozole. Long may it last 😊 xx
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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

That is so wonderful I'm so happy for you. Amazing results from just being on letrozole, long may it last 😊 xx
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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

I was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer with secondary tumours in my lungs last month - my oncologist put off the chemo till after a big life event (wedding) early in December - when I went yesterday for my check up and bear in mind I have only been on Letrozole since 20 October, he was very pleased to see the tumour had shrunk quite considerably and then when he looked at the new xray of my lungs, these tumours were much smaller too.  I am over the moon and so grateful for such a wonderful doctor.  I see him again in 6 weeks and will have another CAT scan then but the relief i feel is amazing - chemo had been planned to start on 12 December.  I do realise that i will be on therapy of some description for the rest of my days but i feel so much more piositive now.

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

Hi  

 

How have you found being on the letrozole?

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

Hi Pleasant1

well, the oncologist could not categorically say that the tumour could not grow or spread while taking the hormones, although it would be 'very unlikely'. I got her to actually say that she would recommend surgery, so I followed the surgical route. However, this hasn't been without its problems. I first had a mammoplasty but didn't get clear margins as the tumour was a lot bigger than had shown on the MRI scan, so I had a completion mastectomy, 4 weeks later. Am slowly getting over it. Luckily it had not spread to my lymph glands, now waiting for final results and treatment plan. I think I made the right decision. 

Chris

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

Hi Caffy

 

What did you decide? I've only just seen your questions. I think you answered yourself with points A and B.

 

My decision would be mastectomy, total node clearance and hormones. My primary was picked up way too late and found in 11 of 16 nodes.

No-one wants to make a decision for you so you have to get as clued up as possible and do everything you can to limit your risk of recurrence. If it recurs you'll be totally in the soup and there's no going back. As women with secondaries/metastatic breast cancer, we're told we're 'incurable' and any hope we once had of ever getting our lives back to some sort of normal are totally dashed.

 

You may be xxxx-scared but you have hope. We are xxxx-scared wishing for a cure so we could feel hope.

 

X

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

So glad to find this thread. This is the exact dilemma I have at the moment. I have been offered full or partial mastectomy or homone treatment to shrink tomour (currently 23mm) followed by lumpectomy and radiotherapy. I'm seeing oncologist on Friday to discuss the hormone treatment but I have 2 worries. A) is the delay in surgery 'dangerous'? If it doesn't shrink might it grow and spread to my lumph nodes/elsewhere? and B) Can I cope with this cancer in my body for up to 9 months. Would be good to hear of more poelple's experiences/outcomes. Thanks for reading. 

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

Delighted to report that after taking letrozole for just over a year, I have been able to have a lumpectomy last week.  Back for results today, and 16mm of grade 1 disease removed with clear margins. Although had 1 positive node, will not consider chemo, and declined total node clearance.  Next to decide on radiotherapy

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

2 months later and tumour has reduced by 50%

Am amazed and delighted.

Continuing with letrozole for another 2 to 3 months

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

Realise this is an old thread -womdered if many others have taken letrozole to shrink the tumour? I have been taking letrozole for 6 months now and little change. Consultant has told me to carry on.

Have seen reports that there can be a response up to 1 year+ and optimum duration is 8 - 10 months.

My tumour is measured as 3cm, grade 1 but high in breast and close to chest wall.

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

Hello Julie,
I had Letrozole for almost 6 months prior to surgery, it shrank my tumour from 5 cm to 2.5 cm. I also had palpable lymph nodes which had become much reduced. Because I had cancer in my lymph nodes I needed chemotherapy. I am still taking letrozole, hopefully it will prevent it returning.
Best wishes to all,
Rachel.

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

Hi,

Similar to Rachel who "had letrozole prior to surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy to shrink my tumour to enable breast conserving surgery rather than mastectomy", I also want to avoid a mastectomy. But I don't really want to have months of hormones and then still need chemo before surgery.

Rachel - Did you find the letrozole shrunk the tumour enough or did you also need chemo prior to surgery? How long did it take to shrink before you could have surgery?

Julie

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

Hello,
I had letrozole prior to surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy to shrink my tumour to enable breast conserving surgery rather than mastectomy. It was a clinical trial and I was also concerned about having to wait whilst having the hormone therapy prior to to the commencment of the conventional treatment. In hindsight now I am very pleased with the outcome I still have two breasts although one is smaller I look normal in clothes! It is difficult take a tablet when all you want is to get rid of the cancer but I am pleased with the outcome I have had so far. You should be closely monitored whilst you are on the tablets anyway.
Best wishes to all,
Rachel

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

Hi Julie

I think one possible advantage of having the hormone therapy first is you find out whether it works for you or not. Must of us have had an op and chemo first, then many years on hormone therapy afterwards (Tamoxifen or AI's for the post menopausal)- but we could be taking it for a long time without knowing whether it is affective, during which time the cancer could be spreading. Cromercrab found out it didn't work, so now will be offered a different treatment at the end of her chemo - and hasn't wasted too much time finding out. Maybe this is something you could ask your onc about.

It's confusing to be offered different options, but things often aren't clear cut with breast cancer - it's a complex disease, and thankfully there is more than one way to tackle it. Maybe when your onc gets more results form the biopsy it will make the decision easier.

Good luck

finty xx

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

Hi
Hormones did not work for me I am afraid and I shall be going down the chemo route Sept 13th. Hopefully that should sort things. Feel a bit like back to square one,. Everyone is different, so hormones might be a kinder option for you.
Thanks for asking
x sarah

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

Hi Sarah, how did things go with the oncologist? I hope things are going ok.
Has anyone else had experience of this - good or bad.
Julie

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Re: Hormones to shrink a tumor?

i am on hormones to shrink stuff. We are waiting to see if it is working, and I am just 3 months in. The point is that I am getting minimal Se s with this, Femera, and life is as normal as it could be. Chemo can be debiltating, but not always. It's natural to get everything over and done with, but it's all about quality of life also. I have bone mets so I suppose the game is a bit different with me. I will see my onc tomorrow so I have fingers crossed.
x sarah

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Hormones to shrink a tumor?

Hi
I saw my oncologist for the first time today. I was expecting to just have my chemo sorted out to (hopefuly) shrink my tumor. (I am hoping it will shrink enough so I can have a lumpectomy).
My tumor is ductal, ER+ and HER-, 4cm, node sample was clear.
He said my tuomor had a good chance of shrinking with chemo. But then he said hormone therapy may be an option to shrink. But that could mean 4 or 5 months of hormones, then operation, then possibly chemo anyway, then radiotherapy. That's a possible year! Whereas with chemo to shrink, then operation, then radiotherapy, I will hopefully be finished before summer next year.
I was all set for putting myself through chemo, then he mentions another possible option.
He is booking me in for chemo anyway, which should start in a couple of weeks (15th/16th Sept). I am seeing him again on 14th Sept when he should have more information about my earlier biopsy (he is trying to get a grade from it.
Do I try hormone therapy or stick with chemo (which has a good chance of shrinking it)?
Has anyone experience of hormone therapy to shrink a tumor before surgery?
Julie

Just noticed dates I said were August, when it should have been September - so I changed them above.