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aromatase inhibitors

colpat
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2012

Can someone please give me some advice. I live in Austalia and have been reading the discussions on this site for the past couple of weeks and you all seem so knowledgeable about your diagnosis and treatments. I am feeling helpless and not sure what to do.
I was diagnosed with grade 1 endometrial adenocarcinoma which had infiltrated 8mm into 12mm of the myometreum in August 2006. I had a complete hysterectomy followed by brachytherapy as this was thought to be all that was necessary. No lymph nodes were removed due to the need for me to have blood thinners daily for a heart valve.
I was quite well after this and was just having 3 monthly checkups where everything appeared to be normal
In November 2010 I was feeling unwell and a pelvic scan showed an enlarged lymph node pressing on my right kidney. A CA125 blood test was also done and it was 383.
A PET scan followed and, as well as the large node on the right, it showed para aortic nodes, another one near my left kidney and a supraclavicular node.
The node in my neck was able to be biopsied and I was told it was the adenocarcinoma. Following this I had 6 round of carbo/taxol finishing in April 1011. A follow up PET showed showed no active disease.
Over the past 12 months my CA125's have slowly been creeping up and in May this year (one month ago) a CT scan showed another mass measuring 2.7cm x 2.5cam x 2.4cm near my left kidney.
I feel very well(apart from being an emotional mess at this new diagnosis). My oncologist has told me I have two options - wait and see what happens or go on a trial of using an aromatase inhibitor to see if it slows the growth of the tumour or shrinks it. He will not consider chemo at the moment.
Has anyone else used aromatase inhibitors for their tumours and have you had success with them.
Please can someone help.
Col

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 795
Joined: Sep 2011

Hi.can't help with the aromatase. I have 1a upsc, grade 3. I'm sure someone here will be able to help you soon. Just curious why your dr. won't talk chemo? Are you over-loaded on chemo? Hope someone can answer your questions. best debrajo

colpat
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2012

Hu Debrajo Thank you for your quick reply. I have had 6 rounds of carbo/taxol. My oncologist says that as the tumour is still small and he will consider chemo, if the tumour hasn't shrunk , after I have tried the aromatase inhibitor (arimidex) for 3 months.
He says we will have time, but my worry is that as it is in a lymph node it could spread through my body through the lymphatic system.
His answer to that question was that the armidex is systemic and if it shrinks the current tumour then it will also shrink any others that are floating around.
If the arimidex doesn't work, the chemo is also systemic and will attack any other tumours which may be present.
Hope someone can help.

HellieC's picture
HellieC
Posts: 460
Joined: Nov 2010

I'm just about to start taking an AI (Femara - generic name Letrozole)for my third recurrence (first recurrence treatment with radiotherapy, second recurrence with surgery and chemo). My onco also says it takes 3 months to see an effect and we have time to try it. Although my recurrence does appear to be confined to the pelvis.
There are a couple of ladies on this board who have taken AIs, either for recurrence of their endometrial cancer or as follow up to breast cancer. IF you search for "Femara" you will see the replies to a post I made a few days ago, asking the same questions as you.
I'll keep you posted on how I get on.
Kindest regards
Helen

colpat
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2012

Thank you Helen for your reply. I will discuss Femera with my Doctor, but will certainly be trying some type of A1. As my cancer is ER
it seems like I have no other options at this stage. Hopefully reducing the oestrogen in my body will help shrink the tumour and stop others from growing. I will also keep you updated with how I am responding to it.
Best wishes. Col

HellieC's picture
HellieC
Posts: 460
Joined: Nov 2010

When you talk to your doctor, it might be worth asking about hormone options generally. AIs are a fairly new thing for endometrial cancer (I don't think that EC is an approved indication for them - although they have been around for a long time for ER+ breast cancer) but they wouldn't prescribe them without good reason. However, there are other hormones e.g. progestins such as Megace, which you could try if the AI doesn't have an effect.

I haven't had a chance to talk at length to my onco about why she has suggested Femara for me rather than Megace (although I know my cancer is ER+), so it will be interesting to hear her thinking when I see her next month. She is extremely competent and very aware of all evidence based options, so I suspect she has access to the latest trial data or hormone review, which we can't get on the internet. I'll let you know what I find out.
Kindest regards
Helen

colpat
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2012

I have decided to trial Arimidex for 3 months as my Dr suggested to see if it helps. I feel as if I have no other option as he won't consider giving me chemo at the moment and if this helps shrink the tumour it is certainly much kinder to the body. I will be having follow up appointments & blood tests every month & another scan in 3 months.
I will keep you posted.
I have been reading all the discussion boards and the love & empathy which flows acrosss each discussion is amazing. You all have so much to give to others while fighting such a horendeous battle yourselves. You are wonderful women & I am so happy to have found this site.
God bless you all
Col

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