Thanks for posting.
It’s natural that you’re anxious about the future given your recent diagnosis and many people ask us about this.
Most breast cancers are treated successfully and will not come back.
As you’re postmenopausal, your ovaries no longer produce oestrogen. Oestrogen will still be produced, in small quantities, in the fatty tissue and other organs, such as the adrenal glands. The amount of oestrogen produced is reduced by taking a drug such as anastrazole whilst you are taking it and will change once you have stopped.
As hormone therapy for primary breast cancer is usually taken for a prescribed length many people experience a mix of feelings when they come to the end of the treatment. For some people taking a tablet such as anastrozole can feel like a ‘safety net’ and many people feel anxious about stopping treatment. However there’s evidence that anastrozole continues to reduce the risk of breast cancer coming back for many years after you stop taking it, which means that the benefits don’t stop even though you are no longer taking it.
If you have a breast care nurse, you could discuss your concerns with her, or your hospital team. You could also ask if you’ll be given a different type of tablet when the five years is completed. Treatment is tailored to an individual, so the regime may vary for each person.
I wonder how much support you’re getting. There may be some local support in your area. Your GP or breast care nurse might be able to suggest some psychological support, such as talking therapies, if you haven’t already accessed them.
At Breast Cancer Care, we offer a variety of services to support you now or in the future. You may be interested in our Moving Forward course, designed to help people adjust to life after breast cancer treatment.
Do call our free, confidential Helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The number is 0808 800 6000.
Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday. Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.
We are currently reviewing our Forum service and wonder if you would have five to 10 minutes to complete a short survey. The survey will help us gather information about this service and understand more about any improvements we can make.
Breast Cancer Care Nurse
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I've been on Anastrozolefor 2 months. I have to take this for 5 years. What I keep forgetting to ask the medical team, because of my severe anxiety, is what happens after that period? Seems silly I know when I haven't got there yet, but just wondered. Do I expect the cancereto just come back? Will my body start producing oestrogen again.