Posted by: ANONYMOUS | 2008/09/24

Need ONCOLOGIST opinion

I was diagnosed with stage 4 infiltrating ductal breast cancer (with 2 small bone metasteses) about a year and a half ago. It was ER, PR positive and Her2FISH negative. I had a lumpectomy done as the lump was smaller than 2 cm. It had spread to my lymphnodes. I received 6 weeks of radiation to all affected areas and eversince receives tamoxifen treatment by taking a tablet once a day as well as zoladex injection every 3 months. I underwent a lot of tests ever since and I' m clear of all cancer which I am very greatful for.
However, I am considering to stop tamoxifen and zoladex treatments now. I feel that I am clear of all cancer and the side effects of this treatments are bothering me, like extreme dry eyes (I had lacerations in my eyes as a result and plugs had to be inserted for lubrication), weight gain (especially around my abdominal area which I understand is a risk factor in itself), mood changes, occasional fatigue, menopause symptoms and I' m only in my late twenties (I also wish to have a baby in the future).
Please advise if I can consider stopping these treatments now? I know that these treatments are usually prescribed for 2-5 years, however my blood tests results are excellent and x-ray, bone scan and other scans are clear.
Kindly also advise if there' s alternative treatments, even if it' s natural homeopathic medicine I can consider instead, if neccessary?
I see my oncologist soon and just wanted another opinion.
Thanks for this forum and for taking the time to assist.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc

Dear Anonymous
I don't think I have enough information or specialist oncology knowledge to answer your question properly. You have the right as a patient to get another opinion from another oncologist - ask your oncologist if you can have copies of all the tests that they did to share with the new doctor.

The recommended treatment period for premenopausal breast cancer is Tamoxifen for at least 5 years and at least 2 years concurrent Zoladex (new trials indicate 5 year treatment). My humble GP opinion is that that if you stop the treatment you will probably get recurrence of the cancer.

I would not go the natural homeopathic route in your case - your young age, advanced stage of the cancer and ER/PR positivity are all high risk factors.

Hang in there, it won't be for ever, and your whole life is still lying in front of you, why rush if this can ensure a healthy life in 3-4 years?

Dr Bets

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