08-04-2018 02:38 PM
This is what I found when I was researching:
There can be a response up to 1 year+ and optimum duration is 8 - 10 months.
I was diagnosed in 2013, and this approach was quite new then.
08-04-2018 02:31 PM - edited 08-04-2018 02:43 PM
If you read through this thread, you will see that I was taking letrozole to shrink my tumour, and was taking it for over a year before my lumpectomy. I did a lot of research at the time, and found some studies carried out in Edinburgh that stated the optimum time was around 9 months. I had no measured response for 6 months (although I felt that the lump was changing, becoming softer) and then a few months later 50% reduction. The initial tumour was estimated around 40mm, and was removed at 16mm.
You have to do what you are comfortable with.
Have been on letrozole for nearly 5 years, another 5 to go!!
Wish you all the best.
Regards - Sue
08-04-2018 06:49 AM - edited 08-04-2018 06:52 AM
Welcome Navywife, It's good to hear that a Anastrozle is working well for you, we generally take these things after treatments as a follow on precaution so don't actually have any evidence that they are doing their job.
We have ladies here who have chemo prior to an op to shrink large tumours but I'm not sure about any now who were just on hormone therapy as this is an old thread , I think most of us have lumpectomy/Mastectomy first so I'm not sure about time scales for taking this but I guess your oncologist would be keen to have your cancer removed sooner rather than later as although it is shrinking you will still have an active tumour.
Hopefully someone will come along who can give you more information about it Xx Jo
08-04-2018 06:29 AM
I just found this thread. In Oct of 2017, I was diagnosed with invasive lobular breast cancer ER/PR + HER-.
stage 2 due to size 3.5cm. I didn’t want a mastectomy so they offered me Anastrozle to shrink the mass. It shrank 20% in the first 3 months. My oncologist suggested last week that they only wanted to give this 6 months. How long do you normally wait before moving to lumpectomy? 6 months doesn’t seem very long.
I was told this is slow growing cancer, therefore slow shrinking. Other than hot flashes and achiness I feel fine. I even lost a few pounds. Any thoughts?
06-08-2017 09:55 PM
If you read through this thread, you will see that my tumour shrunk taking letrozole, and was able to have a lumpectomy. I totally get that you want to avoid invasive treatment - I was against chemo from the start, and although advised, I refused. You have to do what is right for you - you may still need a lumpectomy some time in the future, but it really is not a big deal and I am the biggest coward out.
My tumour was grade 1 and I had 1 positive lymph node.
I did have radiotherapy, was really tempted not to - it's the long term effects that are concerning.
02-08-2017 02:32 PM
23-01-2017 05:37 PM
no - I was supposed to start the chemo in January but my oncologist has said I will be on letrozole for the foreseeable future and if it stops working, he will change to another hormone thereapy. The tumours are shrinking and it is just such a relief.
23-01-2017 05:34 PM
Thanks ever so much - had another check up on 10th January and am now to be on letrozole for the foreseeable future - it is fantastic news and the side effects are minimal - can cope quite easily - what a difference it makes feeling well again
29-11-2016 10:37 AM
I was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer with secondary tumours in my lungs last month - my oncologist put off the chemo till after a big life event (wedding) early in December - when I went yesterday for my check up and bear in mind I have only been on Letrozole since 20 October, he was very pleased to see the tumour had shrunk quite considerably and then when he looked at the new xray of my lungs, these tumours were much smaller too. I am over the moon and so grateful for such a wonderful doctor. I see him again in 6 weeks and will have another CAT scan then but the relief i feel is amazing - chemo had been planned to start on 12 December. I do realise that i will be on therapy of some description for the rest of my days but i feel so much more piositive now.
31-08-2015 07:46 PM
well, the oncologist could not categorically say that the tumour could not grow or spread while taking the hormones, although it would be 'very unlikely'. I got her to actually say that she would recommend surgery, so I followed the surgical route. However, this hasn't been without its problems. I first had a mammoplasty but didn't get clear margins as the tumour was a lot bigger than had shown on the MRI scan, so I had a completion mastectomy, 4 weeks later. Am slowly getting over it. Luckily it had not spread to my lymph glands, now waiting for final results and treatment plan. I think I made the right decision.
31-08-2015 01:30 PM
What did you decide? I've only just seen your questions. I think you answered yourself with points A and B.
My decision would be mastectomy, total node clearance and hormones. My primary was picked up way too late and found in 11 of 16 nodes.
No-one wants to make a decision for you so you have to get as clued up as possible and do everything you can to limit your risk of recurrence. If it recurs you'll be totally in the soup and there's no going back. As women with secondaries/metastatic breast cancer, we're told we're 'incurable' and any hope we once had of ever getting our lives back to some sort of normal are totally dashed.
You may be xxxx-scared but you have hope. We are xxxx-scared wishing for a cure so we could feel hope.
04-07-2015 12:19 PM
So glad to find this thread. This is the exact dilemma I have at the moment. I have been offered full or partial mastectomy or homone treatment to shrink tomour (currently 23mm) followed by lumpectomy and radiotherapy. I'm seeing oncologist on Friday to discuss the hormone treatment but I have 2 worries. A) is the delay in surgery 'dangerous'? If it doesn't shrink might it grow and spread to my lumph nodes/elsewhere? and B) Can I cope with this cancer in my body for up to 9 months. Would be good to hear of more poelple's experiences/outcomes. Thanks for reading.
16-02-2015 11:08 PM
Delighted to report that after taking letrozole for just over a year, I have been able to have a lumpectomy last week. Back for results today, and 16mm of grade 1 disease removed with clear margins. Although had 1 positive node, will not consider chemo, and declined total node clearance. Next to decide on radiotherapy
15-05-2014 10:38 PM
Realise this is an old thread -womdered if many others have taken letrozole to shrink the tumour? I have been taking letrozole for 6 months now and little change. Consultant has told me to carry on.
Have seen reports that there can be a response up to 1 year+ and optimum duration is 8 - 10 months.
My tumour is measured as 3cm, grade 1 but high in breast and close to chest wall.
09-09-2010 11:47 PM
I had Letrozole for almost 6 months prior to surgery, it shrank my tumour from 5 cm to 2.5 cm. I also had palpable lymph nodes which had become much reduced. Because I had cancer in my lymph nodes I needed chemotherapy. I am still taking letrozole, hopefully it will prevent it returning.
Best wishes to all,