Breast Cancer: Stage 3 & 4 Community
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Tamoxefin, Lupron and best methods of monitorng cancer progression

Hi   I am a fellow traveler in a situation very similiar to Patrica M.  I have been recently diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer which has compromised some bones in my spine, ribs, pelvis and shoulder.  My oncologist has put me on Tamoxefin and like Patircia, I am in the clinical trial ( Denosumab/Zometa).  Her posting  and the responses were of special interest to me as it sparked some questions regarding my own treatment.  Obviously, like Patrica I was perimenopausal (very low Estrogen - on the brink of menopause).  I have not been given Lupron and plan to have a discussion with my oncolgist as to why.  Does anyone know of any research that compares use of Tamoxefin alone vs. Tamoxefin with Lupron or the resasoning behind using one or the other approach?  If Lupron shuts down ovaries, isn't that effectively putting a woman into menopause.  If this is the case, is the Tamoxefin still effective?
I was also interested to note Patricia is having another PET scan.  I am concerned about the monitoring of the progression (hopefully halting or dissapearance) of my cancer.  I will be having bone survey's because of the trial but as I understand this offers little information regarding the progression of cancer.  Are there certain tests I should be asking to have repeated?  What is the time frame for such testing? I have already had a series of MRI's, a PET, Nuclear Bone Scan, and a baseline bone survey.    I appreciate this site! Happy Holidays
3 Responses
326352 tn?1310997895
Yes, Lupron is used to shut down the ovaries when perimenopausal.  Tamoxifen might or might not throw you into menopause, but not me.  

There are other sources of estrogen (from food for example) where you would also want Tamoxifen to protect the body from the effects of estrogen.

I am pre-menopausal on Tamoxifen for over a year now (after Stage III cancer, 1 node affected).  I have routine (yearly) bone scans, CT scans of the throat, chest and pelvic area, bloodwork to check for the CA tumor markers and to check for liver function, and mammograms.  All those are used to try to find any metastasis of the cancer in other parts of the body.  That is my onc's standard round of testing.
Avatar universal
You would to get periodic mammograms, and maybe USG or MRI occassionally done. Yearly bone scans, CT scan of brain, chest and blood tests every 3 months for tumour markers, serum calcium and other electrolytes, liver function tests should be done. The possible most common sites of metastasis are brain, bones and liver and therefore any symptoms in relation to these must be immediately reported to your physician. Goodluck.
Avatar universal
What are the possible symptoms for brain mets?
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