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Updates in ER+ Breast Cancer Treatment

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 3926
Joined: Oct 2009

Here is a link to the editor of Cure talking about the latest approaches to ER+ breast cancer. He discusses how the future of treatment may well be cocktails of more than one medication. Very interesting.

BTW, the journal is free to cancer patients.

http://www.curetoday.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/blog.showIndex/debutripathy/2012/8/28/Are-new-therapies-in-ERpositive-breast-cancer-just-the-tip-of-the-iceberg

Are New Therapies in ER Positive Breast Cancer Just the Tip of the Iceberg

camul's picture
camul
Posts: 2017
Joined: Dec 2010

Just read this. Funny never heard ofnthis until this week when it was offered to me. Now I am getting good info and am about 90% to ready to try this one. Have been asked by many who saw the effects of months and months of the chemo on my body who see me feeling better without, if I really want to go thru more and take a chance, sometimes it is hard to explain that I still have hope, especially when there is the possibility that my tumors may respond to one of these chemos, that this crap shoot is my only hope, and it is this hope that is allowing me to get up every morning not feeling depressed and unable to go on.
It makes me realize how much a terminal ilness has changed not only my hopes and dreams, but truly my expectations and how so many little things now in my life have opened my heart and appreciate all I have been blessed with.

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2121
Joined: Jun 2010

Dear CC, I watched the video and read the short story. Thank you for posting it.

On another BC Mets discussion board, a few years ago, this woman told us what her oncologist stated. He believed if you have a slow growing cancer it would be better to keep on hormonal drugs. Chemotherapy works better on cells that divide quickly.

The woman's oncologist is very prominent in his field on the National level. He is the director of the Breast Cancer clinic at a major cancer center, teaches at one the countries most prestigious school and an a chairmen and scientific advisory of one of our biggest breast cancer organization.

I have read the stories of many women who lived 10+ years with metastatic ER+ breast cancer. All used hormonal drugs until they failed. I could not help wonder if they had stayed on hormonal drugs instead of doing chemotherapy, would they still be here? Many missed the opportunity of recycling the drugs or adding a newer drug to an old hormonal drug.

Best,

Doris

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2121
Joined: Jun 2010

On the breast cancer metastatic network are some Inspirational stories of women who had ER+ breast cancer and lived 10+ years.

http://mbcn.org/get-involved/category/10-years/

Some have died as we all know there isn't a cure yet.

Following is the story of a 30 years survivor living with metastasis. I provided the page where you can listen to her story.

http://mbcn.org/get-involved/details/my-story-rita-arditti/

Rita Arditti is my favorite. When my 3rd recurrence was in the lungs, I searched for women like Rita. I was thrill to learn that she lived 30 years with this condition.

Rita Arditti: lived over 30 years with mbc

I am 74 years old and I have lived over 40% of my life with metastatic breast cancer. Yes...for 30 years I have been living with this disease. 

My cancer story begins at age 39. I was single, living with my 13 year old son, had just started a new job and I found a lump in my breast. This was 1974, just 3 years after President Nixon declared a war on cancer…and information about breast cancer was practically non-existent. People didn’t even say the word cancer aloud – it was whispered. I was the only breast cancer story I knew. I had a mastectomy followed by radiation.

Four years later I developed a persistent cough and I coughed violently for a full year before I heard the words that the cancer had spread to my lung. I relied on my doctorate in biology to help me understand my disease. There was no internet then, so I poured thru books to educate myself. I had my ovaries removed, the cough stopped. It was like a miracle. I was able to be optimistic because my doctor was optimistic…and I had support from a women’s cancer group and I was part of a co-counseling community. 
  
In 1983 when I developed difficulty swallowing, it was found that I had an enlarged lymph node in my throat…. and I began tamoxifen. I was able to work, have an active life, I ran a couple of races, exercised a lot, looked into all kinds of approaches to treating cancer, and learned about different types of diet. Those were excellent years for me, though of course, every time I went for tests, I worried - a lot.

Tamoxifen served me well – for 17 years. It’s a long time, I know…but not long enough. Nothing lasts forever – and in the metastatic world that is our biggest fear…knowing the treatment will stop working…wondering what happens next. The fear never goes away.

In 2001, I noticed some changes in my breathing and scans showed a spot on my lung. I was switched to a different hormonal treatment. Then, three years ago, the mets spread to my liver, lung, and bones. I wish there had been more hormonal options available…but it was not so. Chemo, radiation...with the attending side-effects and damage to my esophagus, became the focus of my days. These years have been the hardest. I’ve been going from one chemo to another, not knowing if they would work, losing much of my sense of taste, losing weight and dealing with overwhelming fatigue… feeling lonely and scared. The last 2 chemos failed me … BUT… Doxil, so far, appears to be working...and…as a bonus…I’m not losing my hair.

Over the years I have frequently been asked what special medical treatment I’ve had that’s enabled me to live so long with mets… and...I believe I’m lucky that my cancer is not super aggressive…I’m lucky that the cancer has responded so well to hormonal treatments…and I’m so very fortunate to have my oncologist…we’ve been a team for 30 years. I also believe the unwavering support of both my lifelong partner and my son have been vital to my well-being.

I have a strong will to live and I look forward to better times and less toxic treatments for us all.

Editor's note: Rita passed away on December 25, 2009.

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