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All TopicsForum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During and After → Topic: What's so special about 5 years?

Topic: What's so special about 5 years?

Forum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During and After — Risks and benefits, side effects, and costs of anti-estrogen medications.

Posted on: Jan 28, 2008 12:10PM

althea wrote:

I was just reading Joan's thread about kicking the pills to the curb and it made me wonder once again the question I wonder often -- what's with the 5 year mark?  Why isn't 3 years of these pills enough?  Or 2?  How do we know if 3 years really IS enough and the pharmacueticals just want an extra 2 years of us buying their pills? 

I finally hit the 2 year mark last november with tamoxifen.  Five years looks like an eternity to me.  And since the stats indicate that most recurrences happen within 3 years of the initial dx, I find it increasingly difficult to convince myself that I need tamoxifen for such a long time.  

My mom is also a survivor from her bc 30 years ago.  Surgery is the only treatment she had.  No chemo, no rads, no pills.  She turned 80 last november.  Nothing is static in the way this beast gets treated.  I don't have confidence in this 5 year standard.  What do you think about it?  

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Jan 28, 2008 02:30PM angel wrote:

That's a great question Althea.  From my observance, 5 years is also a milestone, because the risk of reoccurance, although of course it happens, significantly drops at that point even more.  I've always heard that 2 years is the time frame for the most chance of reoccurance, but it's still significant enough up to 5 years.  Are you aware that many doctors are now prescribing an AI for 5 years after completion of 5 years on Tamoxifen.  I've been reading Joan's thread with great interest.  I've only been on Tamoxifen for 8 months and it sucks beans.  My thoughts are that we need individualized care instead of standard of care but until then I'll try to stick out the anti-hormonal.  If QOL gets a lot worse I'd possibly reconsider.  I don't blame anyone for kicking it to the curb!  Bless your mom.  You too.

angel kisses and hugs, Charlene

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Jan 28, 2008 05:50PM Bliz wrote:

I asked my med onc the same "what's so magical about 5 years" question.  She said, "it's all we know." 

Dx 6/13/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-