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Topic: How long before estrogen returns?

Forum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During, and After —

This is a safe place to share your experiences of others considering or on hormonal treatment.

Posted on: Sep 1, 2021 10:31PM

kksmom3 wrote:

I am currently taking a break from letrozole due to side effects. I've made it 2.6 years on this drug. After my month long break, I am to try anastrozole. I am wondering if anybody knows how long it takes before your body starts to produce estrogen again? All I know is, I feel better off this drug, but I promised my husband I would take it for 3 years, My MO told me, that for me, with my particular stats, 3 years of AI therapy would be good enough. If I could feel better, I'd love to make it to the 5, but I honestly don't believe switching is going to help. They all do the same thing.

Dx 8/8/2018, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 9/30/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Sep 2, 2021 09:22AM ThreeTree wrote:

kksmom - I've often wondered the same thing. There was a recent study I read about that looked at people taking breaks from an AI and I think it said that with those who were taking a 3 month break every year, their estrogen levels would return to normal in about 6 weeks.

I only take my letrozole every other day, and have religiously for the approx 18 months I've been taking it, but just the other day, I skipped an extra day and I could actually tell a slight difference and so could people around me. Just a day like that makes it so tempting to quit altogether and just take my chances. I too have doubts about switching because for 90% of people it looks like 6 of one, half dozen of the other; like you said, they all do the same thing. As long as we have low estrogen, we will have the awful side effects that come with it.

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Sep 2, 2021 11:04AM ShetlandPony wrote:

Is tamoxifen an option for you? It is quite different from the three aromatase inhibitors. You might find its side effects easier to live with. The AIs are somewhat more effective, but better to have a therapy you can handle than no therapy at all.

2011 Stage I ITCs sn, premenopausal, Oncotype 16. 2014 Stage IV mets breast,liver. TaxolNEAD. Ibrance+letrozole 2yrs. Fas+afinitor nope. XelodaNEAD 2yrs. Eribulin,Doxil nope. SUMMIT FaslodexHerceptinNeratinib for Her2mut NEAD Dx 2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 2014, ILC, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/other, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Surgery Lumpectomy
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Sep 2, 2021 06:02PM kksmom3 wrote:

ShetlandPony, I asked my MO about tamoxifen, but she said she didn't want me on that. That's the last question I asked her before she ran out the door, so I'm not sure why. In my medical history, nothing seems to preclude it as far as I know, but my mom passed from ovarian cancer, so maybe that was why. I know it can cause uterine cancer, so I'm not wild about that idea anyway.

Dx 8/8/2018, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 9/30/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Sep 2, 2021 06:31PM - edited Sep 2, 2021 06:33PM by ShetlandPony

Hmm, I would want to know her reasoning in any case. As far as uterine cancer, it seems to me that women understandably have a strong reaction to hearing the words "uterine cancer" but it is a very very small chance, not like a common thing. And it usually makes its presence known with postmenopausal spotting or bleeding, at which point a hysterectomy is done and that takes care of it. Of course that is no small matter, but what I mean is to not overestimate the risk when you do your risk-benefit analysis of your drug options.

I am so sorry to hear your mother passed away from ovarian cancer. Have you had genetic testing for BRCA and other mutations?

One more thought, letrozole/Femara and Arimidex/anastrazole are quite similar, but Aromasin/exemestane is a different sort of AI, so maybe worth considering that one ?

2011 Stage I ITCs sn, premenopausal, Oncotype 16. 2014 Stage IV mets breast,liver. TaxolNEAD. Ibrance+letrozole 2yrs. Fas+afinitor nope. XelodaNEAD 2yrs. Eribulin,Doxil nope. SUMMIT FaslodexHerceptinNeratinib for Her2mut NEAD Dx 2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 2014, ILC, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/other, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Surgery Lumpectomy
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Sep 2, 2021 07:22PM - edited Sep 2, 2021 07:23PM by kksmom3

ShetlandPony, yes, as soon as my medical team heard me say that, they scheduled genetic testing, which was for 28 different cancers, and was, thankfully, all negative. I can't help but wonder though, if our cancers weren't related by a gene we don't know about yet. I have very few female relatives from her side, she only had 1 brother. None of my grandparents died from cancer, but I have a cousin who had DCIS, and we lost a cousin at age 24 from melanoma. That was back in 1984, so I'm sure they know more now.... but yeah, cancer runs in my family. :(

Dx 8/8/2018, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 9/30/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Sep 2, 2021 10:35PM RatherBeSailing wrote:

kksmom -

For what it's worth, I had an awful time on anastrozole, but was fine on letrozole. Also, some women experiment with different brand of the generics, and find they do better on some than on others.

Finally, I found that I do better on the brand name Femara than on the generics. The manufacturers of both Arimidex and Femara have programs that supply the brand name at little to no cost. But, unfortunately, they only work with private insurance.

Hoping the anastrozole works better for you.

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Sep 3, 2021 09:40AM BrinkOfEternity wrote:

kksmom3 - Sorry for your loss, my mom passed from ovarian cancer too. I’m on tamoxifen though because my ER positivity is quite low. When I had spotting last year my OBGYN took some samples to make sure my uterus is OK and so far so good.All in all tamoxifen has been quite tolerable for me. And I do agree there must be some gene out there they don’t know about since my genetic testing was all negative too.

Weakly ER+ so practically TNBC, neoadjuvant chemo (Abraxane) with immunotherapy (Keytruda), then surgery, then more chemo (AC) Dx 7/26/2018, DCIS/IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 9/4/2018 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Surgery 12/28/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 2/4/2019 AC Surgery 4/26/2019 Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Sep 8, 2021 05:18PM - edited Sep 8, 2021 05:29PM by Tapwater33

i want to cuss my onco out so bad!!! I stopped Femara and letrzole after 4 months because of the terrible se. I did my 10 years on Tamoxifen and haven't had any recurrence. I got 2 blood clots from Taking Tamoxifen 4 months ago and it was right at the end. I did my 10 years d"@&t. And look what it got me. Anyways the problem I'm having currently is the clumps of hair that started falling out of my head 3 weeks ago. Forget all the other se. I can't deal with this . I have long beautiful fine hair down to the middle of my back. I haven't stopped crying since. Every time I go to the bathroom I look in the mirror and see what looks like a dog with the Mange. Receding hair line. I just started using Nioxin. Anyways my question is is anybody else having major distress about this issue? I am also bipolar and that doesn't help anything. I want to know who has stopped and how long did it take their hair to come back if it comes back please help me

Dx 5/12/2011, DCIS/IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 8/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH)
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Sep 8, 2021 09:41PM kksmom3 wrote:

Tapwater 33, if you start a new thread, I'm sure other women will give you ideas. I am so sorry for all you're going thru.

Dx 8/8/2018, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 9/30/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Sep 9, 2021 11:11AM - edited Sep 9, 2021 11:11AM by Tapwater33

Kksmom3ok thanks for the advice. I am new to this.

Dx 5/12/2011, DCIS/IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 8/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH)

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