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All TopicsForum: Chemotherapy - Before, During and After → Topic: Does Hormone Therapy kill metastasized cancer cells?

Topic: Does Hormone Therapy kill metastasized cancer cells?

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During and After — Regimens, side effects, and support from others going through chemo.

Posted on: Jul 18, 2011 11:06PM

SandraL wrote:

I am HER 2 nagative, ERPR psotive, my tumor size was 2.6cm.  and 4 lymph nodes were taken during my double mastectomy that showed micr met. in 2 that were .26mm and .27mm.

I am confused about Hormone therapy.Which has been the only adjuvent treatment recomended by # out of onolgogist. Only 1 suggested chemo due to tumor size and lymph postive plus hormone therapy.

I am trying to make a pros and cons list of whether to do chemo

I have underlying health issues. Very allergic to most meds. Asthmatic or Anaphylactic reactions to drugs even aspirin.

Recomended chemo is 4 weeks of taxotere and cytoxan

Does hormone therapy address lymph positive cells that may have traveled beyond the breast?

Or is chemo the only way to kill breast cancer cells that may have traveled?

Would appreciate some input on this

Thank you 

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Jul 18, 2011 11:56PM hrf wrote:

I'm not an expert except for the fact I've had BC 2x along with chemotherapy, rads etc.

I don't think hormone therapy kills cancer cells but I believe it is very effective in preventing additional progression

BRCA2+ first dx in Oct. 2004 2nd dx Feb. 2009 a new primary

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Jul 19, 2011 12:45AM Beeb75 wrote:

Doctors are not exactly sure if hormone therapy actually kills cancer cells or just keeps them from growing ever again. But hormone therapy is able to prevent recurrences in some women. Chemo plus hormonals would save even more women, but you have to balance that against the risks and your other health issues. Good luck with your decision.

Dx 7/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 1/20 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 19, 2011 07:35AM jdeking wrote:

Think of it this way: estrogen feeds the cancer cells in ER/PR positive tumors. Without estrogen (via a hormone therapy like Tamoxifen) - the cells are starved, and cannot grow.

So it doesn't actively kill the cells, but it does effectively starve the cells and prevents them from multiplying and mutating.

It is a very personal decision - did you have an Oncotype DX test done? That can tell you how likely chemo is to work on your cancer. It might make it easier for you to decide.

An oophorectomy is another option if you do not want a hormonal - that is the surgical removal of the ovaries. Of course, estrogen can still be synthesized from other sources (fat, and external sources like plastics) - so you may still want to take an aromatase inhibitor (AI) to prevent any estrogen from binding.

Good luck!

Dx 1/6/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 2/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 20, 2011 02:10AM SandraL wrote:

Thank you. I did not know that you could get estrogen from external scources . I knew that soy was in the catagory though.

I guess I am going to try chemo even though my Oncotype score was  a 14. Problem is that I had a false negative mamogram on sept 29 and by feb I felt a nickle sized lump . I ignored it thinking it was a hematoma and  by March it was an inch tumor. 

I am horrified at trying chemo but I am even more scared of having it become systemic. 

This is going to be a rough road

Dx 3/31/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 2/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-