Security Upgrade - We will be asking everyone to reset their password on the 13th September 2023. To read further information please click here

Letrozole - How long is too long?

Hi, I'm 56yrs old and I've had bilateral breast cancer (2001 & 2012)
Lumpectomy x 2, chemo & radiation
I've been taking letrozole for 10 years - I have osteoporosis (significantly improved with prolia injections) and my cholesterol levels have been slowly increasing with most recent results showing a very high level (noting I have a very healthy lifestyle and I am not overweight).
From my own research it appears that 10 years would be the recommended time to remain on letrozole. As I do not see an oncologist or radiation oncologist (discharged some years ago) and my GP is unsure how long I should continue taking letrozole, I was hoping someone else may have experienced something similar.
At this stage, I am considering ceasing letrozole until my next blood test in 3 months and comparing my cholesterol levels.
Thank you in advance for any advice. 


  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,190
    Dear @SueP

    I will hit ten years in May and I intend to stop! When first treated, Letrozole was for five years. By the time I had completed four years, research indicated that ten years was better, research that my oncologist (pretty good on such matters) felt was valid and worth serious consideration. So I continued. At nine years, there was no mention of further research ( I did ask!) so I am not anticipating any extension when I see my oncologist in April (I have maintained yearly visits, will now move to two yearly). My own less than perfect information is that a significant percentage of women fail to last for five years, let alone ten so I imagine research on those who have spent fifteen years on Letrozole is scant indeed. 

    I don’t have osteoporosis, have an osteopoenic hip, my cholesterol is fine and my vaginal atrophy improved with treatment and while undoubtedly triggered by Letrozole, has probably been aggravated by age (I am 77). Overall, it could have been worse but I am looking forward to not popping that little peach coloured pill any more! Best wishes to you. 
  • Locksley
    Locksley Member Posts: 884
    Hi @ SueP I had a phone consult with oncologist this afternoon.  I am on Letrozole.   He said there have been a few studies showing there is not much benefit from 7 years onwards to 10 years.  He said studies have shown 7 years is now a good indicator to stop.  I have been taking it for 2 years and he told me to keep going so Im hoping its only another 5 years now. 
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,190
    That’s interesting @Locksley. When I started my second five years’ worth, my oncologist was honest and said that while research indicated 10 years were more effective, he knew of no definitive research as to whether it was cumulative (ie 7 years better than 5, or 9 years better than 7) or not. Just 10 better than 5. So presumably a bit more has been done. All useful. No-one needs to be taking medication longer than is useful.  
  • Julez1958
    Julez1958 Member Posts: 942
    Hi @suep
    I have not read anything suggesting more than 10 years on Letrazole .