I wrote this back in June 2014 but have just seen a report from the San Diego Breast Cancer Symposium Dec 2014 so thought it relevant to post this now…
When I was diagnosed with primary breast cancer in 2007, I was told by my Oncologist and surgical team that they would ‘hit it with everything’ to make sure my breast cancer wouldn’t come back.
Some days I wonder whether they failed to full fill this promise to me and left me wide open for the cancer to return.
I stayed on Zolodex for 2.5yrs until 2012 so when coming off having these injections, to put me into an early menopause, I asked whether I could have an ovarian obliteration or a hysterectomy so that my periods didn’t come back and I could go into a full blown early menopause. I was worried about the effect that oestrogen would have on my body. I was told that this could possibly cause me 10 extra years of menopausal symptoms and to add to this I could have heart problems. I was advised that this was the case so felt safe not to question it as ‘they know best’ of course. Now I’m beginning to wonder if they were wrong.
I am and was a fit and healthy 42 year old when this was being discussed who regularly ran and cycled, took care of her health and well being. How would have these heart issues affected me if I was already fit? I had been on Herceptin and had regular heart scans which showed no signs of problems with this drug affecting me.
My main worry was that I was HER2+ and that my oestrogen then which would return in my body would start the cancer off again.
From the San Diego Breast Cancer Synopsism in Nov 2012 I found out that tamoxifen was then recommended for 10 yrs as supposed to 5 years. I had a phone conversation with my then Oncologist about this. She agreed and thought it would be a good idea to keep on tamoxifen for the recommended 10 years. I had only, just a month prior to this, been advised to stop tamoxifen but due to having extra prescription for this I had kept on it so therefore I had not stopped taking my daily dose.
When diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in Feb 2014 I found it strange that the way that my then Oncologist dealt with this was to give me Zolodex (to put me into menopause ie to stop my periods AGAIN) and to give me Letrozole which is for post menopausal women. I was told prior to this that I was unable to have Letrozole due to be being post menopausal… (I hope you are able to keep up..)
Now if I was still pre menopausal in 2012 then why couldn’t this have been done for me then? ie I could have been given Zolodex and Letrozole (and stopped taking the tamoxifen) to give me an ‘insurance policy’ to stop me getting secondary breast cancer…
See the below report which I have just seen today:-
I feel like somewhere along the way they have missed this and now I have an incurable disease which I could have possibly been saved from having.
It seems like a case of the horse has bolted.
Isn’t this an option for women who’ve had primary breast cancer and on Zolodex? Shouldn’t it be?
Is it any wonder?
Fast forward to December 2014 where the SABCS 2014 have just reported this.
It seems common sense to me to suppress the oestrogen to stop further growth. Let’s hope this new practise is rolled out quick and possibly stops someone from getting an incurable disease like I now have…