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senseless
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/20/2009 6:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone I am new to this site as far as posting anything, although I have gone through and read a lot of postings and learned alot too.  I've been off the tomaxifen now for 6 months, after my 5 year run.  Was stage 2B, with lupectomy, node removal, chemo and radiation.  Three years BC I had my right ovary removed due to a tumor.  I am at a crossroads as to what to do next.  I am premenapausal and according to bloodwork not even close (my mother was 6 years older than I am now before she started).  Dr. is talking about removing the other ovary  and having go on another hormone therapy but I'm not so certain.  (He wouldn't do this 6 years ago even though I argued with him.)  I would like to hear from ones who have been on either the arimidex or femura and what real side effects they have experienced or anyone else in my same position.

Lmmackey
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 316
   Posted 6/20/2009 7:57 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi senseless (sounds so wrong, but you didn't leave your name) :-)

I have a similar story without the ovary tumor - 2B, ER/PR+, Her2-, had a lumpectomy, didn't get it all and showed extensive DCIS, discussed my options and did not want radiation (long story), so ended up with bilateral mastectomy. I was 40 at dx so also premenopausal so I opted for chemically ablating my ovaries with Lupron so I could take an aromatase inhibitor. First it was Arimidex, but I did have lots of bone pain - mornings were horrible to get up and walk. So, we switched to Femara. I don't think the side effects were that bad on Femara, although I am off all treatment now. My oncologist thought I'd have better quality of life (less depression, mood swings, hot flashes) and she also wanted to see if I was in menopause. Nope. I know that I've read and heard that different people react differently to the various aromatase inhibitors, so my side effects might never effect you.

However, since you have the history of ovarian tumors, and if it were me, I'd take out the other ovary just like the dr. suggests. I've moved so have had different oncologist, and they have all said (and I've done my own research and agree) that aromatase inhibitors have better odds and keep down recurrences with different and less worrisome side effects as tamoxifen. One doc did an online prognosticator while we were conferring and it was a clear 5% positive rate for non-recurrence with the AIs with my stats plugged in. However, AIs are only if you're ER/PR+, which not everyone is, so thankfully we have tamoxifen, too.

Best of luck with your decision. Please come back often, if you can. The ladies here are wonderfully supportive. It's a club we wish we weren't part of, but are happy we have sister's in health. Take care!!

Lauré
The finger of God touches your life when you make a friend.
----Mary Dawson Hughes---


barkyboys
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 6/24/2009 5:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Many women who are BRCA survivors have both ovaries removed to prevent production of hormones...but why would you then go on hormones??? that doesn't make much sense to me.

BEV
"There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker."  --Charles Schulz


senseless
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/25/2009 8:32 AM (GMT -7)   
I have already done the tamoxifen for the five years and still not close to menaupause. You can only take the other hormonal treatments post menaupause. So taking out my other ovary would put me into menaupause. Your body still makes some estrogen even without your ovaries, just not as much which is why they want all the post mp surviors to take the arimidex or femera. My side effects to the tamoxifen weren't too bad except for the mood swings and depression which I ended up going on an anti depressant for a while.

Every option has its pros and cons and I am just trying to weigh out my options. Thanks yo (senseless)

Lmmackey
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 316
   Posted 6/25/2009 11:06 AM (GMT -7)   
I think Bev thought you meant hormone replacement therapy which has been shown to increase the risk of female cancers. What you are referring to are anti-estrogen type therapies. Good luck with your decision. They are never easy to make!

Lauré
The finger of God touches your life when you make a friend.
----Mary Dawson Hughes---


barkyboys
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1564
   Posted 6/25/2009 5:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, that I would be correct. I thought you meant estrogen replacement therapy. I know Suzanne Sommers insists that ERT is necessary, even after BRCA, but that is not the mainstream thought on the issue. I didn't realize that arimidex or femara could only be taken post-menopause, either. I know they are most effective post-menopause, but didn't know they weren't an option pre-menopause. Actually my onc told me a long time ago that "pre- or Post-" menopause isn't based on your actual status, but is based on the age of 50, when it come to these things. You must have been awfully young when all this happened to you, if you're nowhere near menopause! Poor thing! Never went on aromatase inhibitors, so I can't help you there. But I think removing that remaining ovary might be a good idea...if you've already had brca and an ovarian tumor, you gotta think you are prone to adenocarcinomas.

Good luck with your decision, and sorry if I confused the issues earlier.

Hugs...
BEV
"There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker."  --Charles Schulz


gumoore
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 7/3/2009 2:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I had a a complete (or total) hysterectomy with a bilateral salipingo-oophorectomy (big words just to say I had it ALL taken out) - being estrogen positive caused me concern, but when chemopause ended, I freaked. Oncologist agreed with my freak.

Thing is, the one question I was asked repeatedly was: Was I ready for menopause without any aids to assist me (because of estrogen positive status)?

Good luck with your decision.
Gayle
 
__________
Live Strong
 
 
IBC dx August 9/06
ER/PR +2
HER2/neu +
chemo August 11/06 - January 8/07
IMRT rads 5 weeks
surgery May 1/07 bilateral mastectomy (left modified radical, right simple)

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