Femara and post menopause

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Smellycrackle
Smellycrackle Member Posts: 21
I have been on Letrozole also known as Femara since last April.  This only work if you are post menopausal only (from what I have read).  My cycles finished after my 2nd Chemo - so back in December 2016, and they have not returned.  I have had a hormonal blood test and my results come back as NOT post menopausal. I am concerned that this isn't doing anything because I am not post menopausal.  Concerned!!!  Anyone else not post menopausal but on this too?
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  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,372
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    Are you having Zoldex injections? That's the usual thing if you are not menopausal--it disables ( for want of a better word) you hormone production. Mxx
  • Smellycrackle
    Smellycrackle Member Posts: 21
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    No, there has been no mention of Zoldex..  I am thinking as my periods have stopped and have not returned they "the oncologist" puts me in the post menopausal category.  Dont get to see him again until August tho to bring this up again..

  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
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    Send him an email saying you are wondering. He won't want you to worry. You could also ask your breast care nurse.

    I'm about to start Letrozole and as it was breast cancer stress and treatment that stopped my periods only last December, my oncologist is going to blood test me every three months. If the LSH & FSH hormone levels go up (released by the brain to try to get the ovaries going again) she'll give me a Zoladex injection once a month.

    Let us know how you get on. Best of luck. K xox
  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,372
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    If your GP did the test you need to either have some robust discussions with them now about how, and when, aromatase inhibitors work and what happens next, or get back to your oncologist now.
    I don't know where you live, but the reality is that GP care is pretty much it for many of us. If yours requested the test, its likely they are a bit switched on and if you trust them push them to either refer you up the libe or do something about it. AIs are pointless if your hormone status is wrong.
  • Smellycrackle
    Smellycrackle Member Posts: 21
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    I am going to go and see my GP tomorrow.  The oncologist said if your period returns have the blood test that checks your hormones.  I haven't had my period return but wanted to see what my hormone levels were.  Today they tell me they are in the range that is Not post menopausal.  I want to be taking tablets that are helping keep this at bay - not something that is doing nothing at all - except give me stiff joints...
    Although kmakm - you too have been prescribed Letrozole - so maybe there is a method in their madness.

    Hopefully the GP can help me out tomorrow..   Ill mention Zoladex.  But I wonder why dont they put us on Tamoxifen if we are not post menopausal.....   
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
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    My understanding is an AI is considered a more effective drug as it more thoroughly prevents the amount of estrogen being produced. But don't quote me, I'm not a doctor. My oncologist said I was 50/50 between an AI and Tamoxifen. I said I wanted the one that gave me the best chance to live until I'm 80. She said she favoured the AI by a fraction.
  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,372
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    I took Tamoxifen for five years. It didn't work. The goal posts keep moving when it comes to cancer treatment. That is probably a good thing.
  • Smellycrackle
    Smellycrackle Member Posts: 21
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    Maybe thats were my oncologist is heading with me too then.  Thanks for your help.  Guessing you are only quite young too if you hadnt gone thru menopause already.. I was 46 at diagnosis and all was cruising along nicely....
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
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    I am 51. Which is the average age of menopause for women in Australia. Wasn't there yet though!
  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,561
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    Oh I'm much older than that and have just sailed through menopause. No real detrimental affects if I rule out Breast Cancer and hypothyroidism. ...really is crapsville
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
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    @iserbrown I got Hashimoto's after my second baby.
  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
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    Despite 18 months of no period prior breast cancer my oncologist still hormone tested me 1st. Call the  rooms of your oncologist and discuss asap. It  will still be doing something just not the full effect you need. Zolodex will sort it or switch to tamoxifen. 
  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,372
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    I was 43 when I was first diagnosed in 2006 @Smellycrackle I had a recurrence in 2016. I never really trusted Tamoxifen; my periods resumed about 12 months after I started taking it. I was told that was 'unusual but not abnormal". Hmmm. Anyway, I took it for the recommended 5 years and suffered minimal side effects.

    I'm not taking any chances this time, I had my ovaries removed between surgery and chemo (cut that pretty fine as far as timing was concerned, but it worked out ok in the end) and started Letrazole after chemo and rads last year.When I did some research into the drug and discovered I'd have to have monthly Zolodex I spat the dummy and decided that no ovaries was a good idea for a number of reasons.

     I took Letrazole for 12 of the most miserable months of my life. Just horrible, but I don't know whether to blame the chemo, the ''autopause' the AI drug, aging or just mental exhaustion.

     I switched to Anastrozole 3 months ago. I am not getting any worse, which was the thing that was stressing me out before. I'm not convinced I am getting better--its possible I'm just getting used to the new me.
  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,561
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    I went down the Zoladex treatment along with Tamoxifen.  Before starting I had a vaginal ultrasound, ovaries healthy, during and after the Zoladex 26 x 4 weeks the subsequent vaginal ultrasound still comes up with ovaries healthy
  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,561
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    @Smellycrackle
    Hi!  Just checking on you to ask if you were able to sort out the question that you posed here with the GP and or Onc.
    Hope you are travelling okay