Thanks for posting.
Some people worry when they are told they will be stopping their treatment. Letrozole works by reducing the amount of oestrogen made in the body. Although the ovaries no longer produce oestrogen after the menopause, some oestrogen is still made in the body fat. However, there is evidence that letrozole continues to reduce the risk of breast cancer coming back after you stop taking it.
Nearly everyone who has been treated for cancer worries about it coming back and you’re not alone in being anxious about this. The uncertainty and fear of breast cancer returning is very real. Returning to 3 yearly mammograms can cause these feelings to increase. It’s important to be aware of any breast changes. After being discharged from your follow up appointments, your GP will be your main contact to get concerns checked quickly. If necessary your GP can refer you back to your treatment team.
Letrozole can affect your bones. Once you have developed osteoporosis, it cannot be cured. However, treatments are available to try to keep the bones strong and less likely to fracture. Diet and regular exercise can help stimulate growth and strength of your bones. Some studies have also shown that regular exercise and eating a healthy diet after treatment may help reduce the risk of the breast cancer coming back.
Although you have been discharged from the hospital, you can still contact your breast care nurse to discuss any outstanding concerns.
Our mobile app BECCA provides day-to-day strategies, hints and tips to help you move forward. The easy-to-use cards give you bite-size information on everything from managing menopausal symptoms to strategies for coping with anxiety. Categories include food, exercise, mindfulness and beauty. You can also read blogs from people like you who are adjusting to life beyond breast cancer treatment.
You may find it more helpful to 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.
Breast Cancer Care Nurse
Please read the Ask Our Nurses disclaimer. This thread will now be closed from further replies. If you have any additional questions or would like to provide feedback, please start a new thread.
I went for my fourth annual oncology appointment yesterday, and was surprised (and pleased) to be told the consultant feels he doesn't need to see me next year, which would have been my fifth and final appointment.
Was diagnosed in March 2015 by routine mammogram (small invasive tumour, oestrogen hormone positive, typical for my age group, age then 64)
WLE, (clear margins),, node removal ( all clear) 15 rads sessions and five years Letrozole plus calcichew tablets daily to counteract bone thinning. The prognosis was "good"
He offered the option to stop the lestrozole now, since I've been on it since March 2015, but I'm happy to carry on and do the complete five years and we agreed to that.
Because I was taken by surprise, I didn't ask the questions I had planned for the final consultation, which are these....
When I finish the Letrozole next year , do my oestrogen levels then return to "normal"for my age?
Obviously a concern as this hormone was feeding the cancer the oncologist explained after the biopsy in 2015.
(after next year I'm back on three yearly mammograms again, so, if another tumour begins, it might not be detected for three years! this one was quite deep and there were no symptoms at all)
Will the bone porousness caused by the Letrozole and picked up on Dexa (?) scans gradually improve after stopping the drug, if I continue the walking and exercises I've been doing over the last few years?
Thanks so much for any help and advice you can give me.
I happily skipped out of the hospital clutching my "finishing treatment" leaflets without properly realising I hadn't asked any of the questions that I had planned to ask next year!