My doctor has perscribed anastrozole with injections of Lupiron for horomone therapy, the last part of my treatment for breast cancer, I am 49yrs old premenapausal... I have read its used for postmenapausal but not have read or seen anything about premenapausal. Can anybody tell me something?
Depending on a woman's menopausal status, tamoxifen can have different effects on the bones. In pre-menopausal women tamoxifen can cause some bone thinning, but in post-menopausal women it is often good for bone strength. The effects of toremifene on the bones are less clear.
For most women with breast cancer, the benefits of taking these drugs outweigh the risks.
Fulvestrant is a drug that also acts on the estrogen receptor, but instead of blocking it, this drug eliminates it. It is often effective even if the breast cancer is no longer responding to tamoxifen. It is given by injection once a month. Hot flashes, mild nausea, and fatigue are the major side effects. It is currently only approved for use in post-menopausal women with advanced breast cancer that no longer responds to tamoxifen or toremifene.
In pre-menopausal women, removing or shutting down the ovaries, which are the main source of estrogens, effectively makes the woman post-menopausal. This may allow some other hormone therapies to work better.
Permanent ovarian ablation can be done by surgically removing the ovaries. This operation is called an oophorectomy. More often, ovarian ablation is done with drugs called luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) analogs, such as goserelin (Zoladex) or leuprolide (Lupron). These drugs stop the signal that the body sends to ovaries to make estrogens. They can be used alone or with tamoxifen as hormone therapy in pre-menopausal women. They are also being studied as adjuvant therapies along with aromatase inhibitors in pre-menopausal women.
Chemotherapy drugs may also damage the ovaries of pre-menopausal women so they no longer produce estrogen. In some women ovarian function returns months or years later, but in others, the damage to the ovaries is permanent and leads to menopause. This can sometimes be a helpful (if unintended) consequence of chemotherapy with regard to breast cancer treatment, although it leaves the woman infertile.
All of these methods can cause a woman to have symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and mood swings.
Megestrol acetate: Megestrol acetate is a progesterone-like drug used as a hormone treatment of advanced breast cancer, usually for women whose cancers do not respond to the other hormone treatments. Its major side effect is weight gain, and it is sometimes used in higher doses to reverse weight loss in patients with advanced cancer. This is an older drug that is no longer used very often.
Other ways to control hormones: Androgens (male hormones) may be considered after other hormone treatments for advanced breast cancer have been tried. They are sometimes effective, but they can cause masculine characteristics such as an increase in body hair and a deeper voice to develop.
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