Saturday, February 3, 2018

More 'Uplifting' News on Breast Cancer Recurrences

Sometimes I wish they would stop researching breast cancer so we stop getting such 'good' news. New research was meant to look at whether some hormone receptor positive breast cancer patients could stop taking tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors such as Femara, Aromasin, or Arimidex. However they found instead that ER/PR+ breast cancers can 'smolder' (their word, not mine) for twenty years or more, before recurring.

Aromatase inhibitors and tamoxifen inhibit the production of estrogen which feeds these ER/PR+ breast cancers. The longer you are on the medic

ation, the longer you are protected from a recurrence. However, some women experience side effects and want to get off them as soon as possible. Other women have no problems and stay on them longer than the initial five years.

“Even after 5 years of adjuvant endocrine therapy, women with ER-positive, early-stage breast cancer still had a persistent risk of recurrence and death from breast cancer for at least 20 years after the original diagnosis,” they wrote in their report, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“Even though these women remained free of recurrence in the first five years, the risk of having their cancer recur elsewhere (for example in the bone, liver or lung) from years five to 20 remained constant,” Hayes said.

I am so excited by this uplifting news. Maybe its time to stop reading the research unless my oncologist tells me about something new.

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