I am 45 and recently diagnose with breast cancer. I have gone 1 round of chemo with 5 to go and weekly Herceptin during the 6 rounds of Chemo then Herceptin once every 3 weeks. Then I will be on hormone blockers for 5 years.
I had been taking hormones 10 days a month for 1 1/2 years to keep me regular. Anyway, I guess I have a FEW questions here. Cancer was receptive to both hormones....HER2, etc.
1. I wonder if the hormones I was taking, brought on the cancer. Since I have stopped taking the hormone pills do I really need the blockers?
2. I have heard that if I am taking hormone blockers I will NO longer have a sex drive nor enjoy sex.
3. I have heard that the hormone blockers will create more female problems as my female organs will dry up?
I pray I was talking to an idiot......
4. The chomo is taxotere and campho????. Is it really necessary to go 6 rounds? Will the chance of recurance really be higher if say I went only 4 rounds?
5. If I am doing this Chemo and they believe they got all the cancer and none was in the lympnodes, do I really have to do radiation?
They said I was stage 1, grade 3.
The losing the sex drive etc. is really scarey for me as I was married to a very selfish man in bed for 22 years. I have been divorced for 6 years and have had 2 lovers. I feel like I just started really enjoying sex in my forties. I hate to see that go Buh Bye!
I would like to know first what type of surgery did you undergo? Is it mastectomy? or lumpectomy? If it is lumpectomy, then it is mandatory that you undergo radiation.
There is no hard evidence that hormone blockers reduce one's sex drive, though it may cause some of the "female changes" you mentioned. There are ways to go around this problem like using adequate lubricants during intercourse.
For your chemotherapy regimen, 6 rounds is really the standard. Cutting it short may decrease the benefit that you will derive from the treatment. Other regimens would require 8 or even 12 rounds!
Taking hormones may increase your risk of having cancer but it is not directly causative. Even if you've stopped taking these, you still need the blockers since your body is still producing the natural hormones that may stimulate tumor growth and therefore should be blocked.
It is good that they caught your cancer early. Be strong and finish your treatment as much as possible. Regards...
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