Remove ovaries? Zoladex Implant

cammie
cammie Member Posts: 102
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hope someone has some insight to the future and can tell me which direction to go. I had my 6 month check up on Friday. To my surprise instead of saying ok your done, they said that I shouldn't be having my periods and that I am producing estrogen. Since my tumor was estrogen positive, that is not good. I went through chemo and am on Tamoxifin, but my periods returned in August and have been regular. Now Tamoxifin in premenopausal women causes ousteoporisis, cancer in the uteris and all kinds of side effects, now it should be stopping my period, but now they want to give me Zoladex every 28 days, implanted into your stomach. The side effects to this drug is many. But it will stop the estrogen. I believe removing my ovaries would do the trick as well. They are afraid because of my age (38) that it will open a new can of worms. I am also a juvenile diabetic, so surgery is quite a ordeal for me. The scale is tilting both ways, advantages - disavantages. If I choose to have my ovaries removed and run into problems - oh well. But the Zoladex has a great barrier in helping me with my nausea (because of gasteoporisis - caused by diabetes)The reglan drug I take to help me with that is one that can not interact with the Zoladex implant. The Zoladex also gets implanted every 28 days in the hospital for 5 years. Ugh. What advice do you have....... I really don't know what I am going to do. The doctor feels the Zoladex is the way to go. But I am trying to be my own advocate in this stupied medical field and go the easiest and surest way. I am going to return this body under the lemon law. I think I got a lemon how about you all?

Comments

  • Snookums
    Snookums Member Posts: 148
    It never hurts to get a second opinion so, if you can- go for one and let them review your "whole history" and then give an opinion. In my case the Tamoxifin is working to stop est and my cycles so my OB/GYN said why do the surgery? It seems maybe since Tamo isn't working- the surgery would be a better alternative. Have you discussed this with the doctor that treats you diabetes? You are now added to my prayer list and I will ask God to show you the correct path. I hope you don't mind if I ask him to knock you over the head with a "hammer" to let you know. I need a direct hit, not a whisper or hint to know what He needs me to do. God's Blessings- Candy
  • krisrey
    krisrey Member Posts: 194
    Hi Cammie,
    I don't have any experience with Zoladez versus removal of the ovaries, but I was wondering if you had a second opinion. Maybe a second opinion will give you additional insight one way or the other. Also, I was wondering how they can tell that the tamoxifen is not working. Is it because you have your periods or do they do blood testing? I was just at the doctor and I thought she said that some people get their periods while others not. Now I wonder is she was referring to the period in time that we get off the tamoxifen.
    I am sorry that I do not have any information for you. Hopefully somebody here will have some information to share with you. Have you tried the 800 phone number to the American Cancer Society? They have researchers there that will research specific questions that you have.
    Good luck with your decision.
    Kris
  • marytres
    marytres Member Posts: 144
    Hi, I too, have to have my periods stopped. I used to have Zoladex every 28 days in my stomach but then the oncologist said there was another drug that I take, as a shot, every 3 months. You could ask your doctor about that. I don't have side effects unless you mean normal menopause symptoms. I also asked my doctor to have my ovaries removed. We'll discuss it when I go for my annual check-up. I'm an almost 4 year survivor in Feb. Hope I've given you some help. In my opinion, I'd have the surgery. Good luck and do get another opinion. Hugs, Marie
  • ktinkey
    ktinkey Member Posts: 170
    Hi Cammie,

    I was on tamoxifen for 4 years and had my periods as regular as clockwork. Tamoxifen doesn't stop the ovaries from producing estrogen, it just stops the cancer from being able to feed on it. My oncologist wanted me to take the Zoladex shots also, but I opted for the removal of my ovaries. I did some research and then called my gynecologist and arranged the surgery with him. I took one dose of the Zoladex in the stomach and then had the surgery. There is also a version of the Zoladex you can take every three months. I had opted for the monthly version after discussing the pros and cons of each with my oncologist. I personally am very happy that I had my ovaries removed. It is the best decision I made and the surgery was done outpatient, so the recovery period was minimal. You have to decide for yourself. Every treatment option has side effects. You just have to decide what is best for you and what are acceptable side effects. Remember, just because you have a period, does not mean the tamoxifen is not working, but you do need to get checked for osteoporosis and have regular pap smears, etc. I hope this helps a little and I pray that you get the answers you are looking for.

    God Bless,
    Kathy
  • llange
    llange Member Posts: 54
    I've been wrestling with the ovarian ablation issue myself and would be interested in any decision you make. I'm on Tamoxifen, and I still get my periods every 5-6 weeks, and they're quite short. Also I'm 39 and a 2 year survivor. My Dr. does not advocate ovarian ablation for women over 35, since no testing has been done to prove that it improves survival in that age group, but he also would not have a problem if it's something that I insist on. He would use a Lupron injection every 3 months for 3 years. My indecision is on how aggressive do I need to be? I'm 2 years post-surgery, all indications are that I'm cancer-free, and for the first time since I was diagnosed I feel great. Putting myself into menopause would definitely have side effects that I'm not sure I'm willing to deal with. I'm really not sure which way to go. I could try the Lupron for a few months and see how my body reacts - I just am having a hard time deciding. Let us know what you do.
    Lisa
  • cammie
    cammie Member Posts: 102
    llange said:

    I've been wrestling with the ovarian ablation issue myself and would be interested in any decision you make. I'm on Tamoxifen, and I still get my periods every 5-6 weeks, and they're quite short. Also I'm 39 and a 2 year survivor. My Dr. does not advocate ovarian ablation for women over 35, since no testing has been done to prove that it improves survival in that age group, but he also would not have a problem if it's something that I insist on. He would use a Lupron injection every 3 months for 3 years. My indecision is on how aggressive do I need to be? I'm 2 years post-surgery, all indications are that I'm cancer-free, and for the first time since I was diagnosed I feel great. Putting myself into menopause would definitely have side effects that I'm not sure I'm willing to deal with. I'm really not sure which way to go. I could try the Lupron for a few months and see how my body reacts - I just am having a hard time deciding. Let us know what you do.
    Lisa

    Thank you all for answering me. I don't know if I have yet made a decision. My gynecologist told me that there is no greater benefit from Zoladex or the removal of ovaries. Her answer was to do nothing. I feel quite naked by doing nothing, as if I am saying that ok cancer try again. My doctor suggested I start with the Zoladex, if I find that it hurts, to invasive, or reactions to the med is bothersome, then we can have the ovaries removed. So Tuesday is my first injection until I decided otherwise. You all were awesome in writing me back. I really appreciate it. Love and Hugs. Cammie
  • Sharon345
    Sharon345 Member Posts: 26
    I've been on Zoladex since March of this year. I'm 46, had stage I breast cancer, lumpectomy, radiation, tamoxofen and Zoladex. The Zoladex is not bad at all. I just go in to the oncol's office and get a shot in my stomach. The nurse first give me a little shot to deaden the area and by the time she injects the Zoladex shot (since has a big needle) I don't feel a thing. My doctor asked me last time if I'm getting tired of seeing him every month but I told him definitly no! Because he's also checking me every month this gives me time to ask any questions. And you will have alot of questions as time goes by. The Zoladex side effects seem small to me. My hot flashes are a little more intense for about a week. There have been two chinical trials completed on this drug. One showed that the compination of Tamoxifen and Zoladex is as good as chemotheraphy in premenopasal women and the other showed that the compination is better than chemotheraphy. Look up Zoladex on the internet. I don't understand the word "implant" that you use. It's just a thick liquid. Men have been using it for years for prostrate cancer. You can always try it and quit later and get your ovaries taken out. I just ask my doctor what the plan was after I'm through taking it for 2 years (by the way, 2 years instead of 5 is the normal period) My oncol said that by the end of 2 years my ovaries will not be working and should be dried up and useless. I guess it just works slower than chemo does. I have also read that Zoladex is helpful in preventing ousteoporisis so that would counteract the effect of Tamoxifen. Also by the way, Tamoxifen only increasing our chances of uteris cancer by 1%. That's not much to worry about. I don't mean to sound like a Zoladex salesman but I'm glad I went this way. But it would be a real bother if my boss minded me taking off an extra hour every month to go get it. That would be something to consider if you didn't have a good boss. Email me if you want. I have alot more information: [email protected]
  • mq316mq316
    mq316mq316 Member Posts: 16
    krisrey said:

    Hi Cammie,
    I don't have any experience with Zoladez versus removal of the ovaries, but I was wondering if you had a second opinion. Maybe a second opinion will give you additional insight one way or the other. Also, I was wondering how they can tell that the tamoxifen is not working. Is it because you have your periods or do they do blood testing? I was just at the doctor and I thought she said that some people get their periods while others not. Now I wonder is she was referring to the period in time that we get off the tamoxifen.
    I am sorry that I do not have any information for you. Hopefully somebody here will have some information to share with you. Have you tried the 800 phone number to the American Cancer Society? They have researchers there that will research specific questions that you have.
    Good luck with your decision.
    Kris

    Tamoxifen doesnt work for a few people

    its just certain people Tamoxifen doesnt work... ( usually they say those with no side effects can indicate they are not metabolizing it

    http://www.bcbsks.com/customerservice/Providers/MedicalPolicies/policies/policies/GeneticTesting_TamoxifenTreatment_2013-09-25.pdf