Hysterectomy

j916
j916 Member Posts: 141
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Has anyone here with HR+ made the decision to have a hysterectomy? I think i have made the decision to have one, and combine the surgery with my last reconstruction surgery (2 for 1), to hopefully reduce the chance of uterine/ovarian reoccurance, and also lower my estrogen. My onc supports this, and will switch me to an AI from tamoxifen after the surgery. Just wondering if anyone else here has done or thought of doing this?

Comments

  • Christmas Girl
    Christmas Girl Member Posts: 3,682 Member
    A couple of months ago...
    ... When I hit my 5 year mark for completion of all invasive BC treatment, I asked my onc if a hysterectomy would reduce my risk of recurrence. He said no, not at all. Therefore, could not "ethically" encourage "unnecessary" surgery. So, all I can say here is that we all endure much that is the same; yet, just as much is quite different (due to the intricacies of individual diagnosis, etc.) for all of us, too.

    Personally, I'd do just about ANYTHING (well, not criminal) to reduce my own risk of recurrence. So, if additional surgery will work for you - I'd say, go for it.

    Best wishes to you, j916.

    Kind regards, Susan
  • babebussie
    babebussie Member Posts: 150
    I've been thinking about it
    I've been thinking about it also myself. My onco wanted me to consider it. She said it would lower the estrogen in my body so the cancer has nothing to feed on. Ummmm, just maybe i will.

    Babe
  • outdoorgirl
    outdoorgirl Member Posts: 1,565

    I've been thinking about it
    I've been thinking about it also myself. My onco wanted me to consider it. She said it would lower the estrogen in my body so the cancer has nothing to feed on. Ummmm, just maybe i will.

    Babe

    I know there is also a surgery where
    I think they just take your ovaries out(. You might not have to have a full hysterectomy if you decide to go that route. I think your ovaries are the organs that produce estrogen(but I'm not sure). Once again,your onc would be the person to ask!!
  • Kat11
    Kat11 Member Posts: 1,931 Member
    j916
    I had a hysterectomy years ago.They only took uterus. I can tell you the surgery is not bad. I felt great after it was over. Good luck.
  • mmontero38
    mmontero38 Member Posts: 1,510

    I know there is also a surgery where
    I think they just take your ovaries out(. You might not have to have a full hysterectomy if you decide to go that route. I think your ovaries are the organs that produce estrogen(but I'm not sure). Once again,your onc would be the person to ask!!

    You are right Outdoor girl.
    You are right Outdoor girl. My husband's niece only had the ovaries removed through laproscopy and the recup time was much easier. Hugs, Lili
  • outdoorgirl
    outdoorgirl Member Posts: 1,565

    You are right Outdoor girl.
    You are right Outdoor girl. My husband's niece only had the ovaries removed through laproscopy and the recup time was much easier. Hugs, Lili

    Thanks Lili
    for responding. Was a little nervous after telling her that! I think my onc had mentioned it and that's how I knew!
  • cabbott
    cabbott Member Posts: 1,039 Member
    Hysterectomy
    After getting some stubborn ovarian cysts that could have been ovarian cancer (but weren't), the doctors finally talked me into getting the ovaries out. Since I had been on tamoxifen and I had the summer off from work anyhow, I opted for everything out: uterus, tubes and ovaries. They could have gone in laproscopically for all that too and shortened my recovery time, but they wanted to get a good look in case of oc. I was in the hospital for about 3 days and needed lots of naps once I got home, but I recovered fairly well. Getting ovaries out causes surgical menapause. The hot flashes definately hit hard at first (2004) but they aren't so bothersome anymore. Surgical menapause (especially with an AI) is known to cause faster bone loss, so you need to take steps right away to slow or stop that. Daily exercise, calcium supplements,and 4 glasses of milk were my steps and I still ended up on fosamax. I'm doing very well and I don't regret my decision to do it all at once, but there are effects of surgery.

    Another option is to use what I believe is called Lupron to turn off the ovaries temporarily and take an AI. They have done some studies on that compared to surgery. The benefits of that are that you preserve your ability to bear children down the road and avoid surgery. Since I was approaching 50, I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about that option. But you need to do what is best for you. Good luck!

    C. Abbott

    PS Ovaries produce estrogen and cancer that is ER+ can be slowed or stopped by removing the ovaries about as well as tamoxifen works. You can't go on the aromatase inhibitors if your ovaries are working. Since the aromatase inhibitors work twice as well as tamoxifen, folks with aggressive ER+ cancer might consider oopherectomy. However, HER+ cancer is fueled a different way. If you have ER- cancer, you need to talk to the doctor about the cost/benefits. (I wasn't sure what HR+ cancer was and just assumed in the above response that you meant ER+).
  • Kat11
    Kat11 Member Posts: 1,931 Member
    cabbott said:

    Hysterectomy
    After getting some stubborn ovarian cysts that could have been ovarian cancer (but weren't), the doctors finally talked me into getting the ovaries out. Since I had been on tamoxifen and I had the summer off from work anyhow, I opted for everything out: uterus, tubes and ovaries. They could have gone in laproscopically for all that too and shortened my recovery time, but they wanted to get a good look in case of oc. I was in the hospital for about 3 days and needed lots of naps once I got home, but I recovered fairly well. Getting ovaries out causes surgical menapause. The hot flashes definately hit hard at first (2004) but they aren't so bothersome anymore. Surgical menapause (especially with an AI) is known to cause faster bone loss, so you need to take steps right away to slow or stop that. Daily exercise, calcium supplements,and 4 glasses of milk were my steps and I still ended up on fosamax. I'm doing very well and I don't regret my decision to do it all at once, but there are effects of surgery.

    Another option is to use what I believe is called Lupron to turn off the ovaries temporarily and take an AI. They have done some studies on that compared to surgery. The benefits of that are that you preserve your ability to bear children down the road and avoid surgery. Since I was approaching 50, I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about that option. But you need to do what is best for you. Good luck!

    C. Abbott

    PS Ovaries produce estrogen and cancer that is ER+ can be slowed or stopped by removing the ovaries about as well as tamoxifen works. You can't go on the aromatase inhibitors if your ovaries are working. Since the aromatase inhibitors work twice as well as tamoxifen, folks with aggressive ER+ cancer might consider oopherectomy. However, HER+ cancer is fueled a different way. If you have ER- cancer, you need to talk to the doctor about the cost/benefits. (I wasn't sure what HR+ cancer was and just assumed in the above response that you meant ER+).

    Cabbott - Hi, So do I
    Cabbott - Hi, So do I understand this. That the tamox is going to kill the ovaries, so no need for them to be removed. Only have them left, don't figure I need them anymore. If I understand you, they caused enough problems.I am HER+
  • RE
    RE Member Posts: 4,591 Member
    Something to think about
    Hi J916, I made the choice to have a total hysterectomy after losing my mom who had bc and later developed ovarian cancer. For me it just made since because I had already had bc twice and tamoxifen did not work for me. I did talk it over with my oncologist and he agreed it would increase my odds of survival.

    Hugs,

    RE
  • j916
    j916 Member Posts: 141
    RE said:

    Something to think about
    Hi J916, I made the choice to have a total hysterectomy after losing my mom who had bc and later developed ovarian cancer. For me it just made since because I had already had bc twice and tamoxifen did not work for me. I did talk it over with my oncologist and he agreed it would increase my odds of survival.

    Hugs,

    RE

    choices
    that's pretty much my thought process...i want to take away any risk factor i can...additional surgery doesn't bother me, as they have told me they can do it during the same surgery of my final reconstruction. I'm cool with that. I'm 47, and a 5 or 10 year survival rate just isn't good enough for me!!
  • NorcalJ
    NorcalJ Member Posts: 187
    j916 said:

    choices
    that's pretty much my thought process...i want to take away any risk factor i can...additional surgery doesn't bother me, as they have told me they can do it during the same surgery of my final reconstruction. I'm cool with that. I'm 47, and a 5 or 10 year survival rate just isn't good enough for me!!

    BRCA
    Another reason to consider the total hysterectomy would be your BRCA status. Those are the genes that can protect us from cancer cells multiplying, but if you have a defect on BRCA1 or 2, it can put you at much higher risk of BC, ovarian ca, or other types---like in the colon.
    I had the genetic testing and found I had the defect, and recently had everything out laproscopically. The healing process was faster and easier than my mastectomy---and no drains!

    I was already post-menopausal, so the hot flashes weren't any worse than usual. I'm now on an AI, and back to work.

    If you can, talk to a genetic counselor at a local cancer center or university. they're very knowledgeable and helpful.

    Oh yeah, when they do the total hysterectomy, they also check the peritoneal cavity for any stray cancer cells to make sure they got it all. It's actually reassuring to know it's one less area to worry and wonder about in the near future. My feeling, after having chemo and rads, is that I want to do anything I can to avoid it again in the future. I guess it's my attempt to control the beast since it controlled me for almost a year!

    Good luck with the reconstruction and your decision on the hysterectomy. Whatever you decide is the right decision for YOU!
  • Kit1018
    Kit1018 Member Posts: 48
    NorcalJ said:

    BRCA
    Another reason to consider the total hysterectomy would be your BRCA status. Those are the genes that can protect us from cancer cells multiplying, but if you have a defect on BRCA1 or 2, it can put you at much higher risk of BC, ovarian ca, or other types---like in the colon.
    I had the genetic testing and found I had the defect, and recently had everything out laproscopically. The healing process was faster and easier than my mastectomy---and no drains!

    I was already post-menopausal, so the hot flashes weren't any worse than usual. I'm now on an AI, and back to work.

    If you can, talk to a genetic counselor at a local cancer center or university. they're very knowledgeable and helpful.

    Oh yeah, when they do the total hysterectomy, they also check the peritoneal cavity for any stray cancer cells to make sure they got it all. It's actually reassuring to know it's one less area to worry and wonder about in the near future. My feeling, after having chemo and rads, is that I want to do anything I can to avoid it again in the future. I guess it's my attempt to control the beast since it controlled me for almost a year!

    Good luck with the reconstruction and your decision on the hysterectomy. Whatever you decide is the right decision for YOU!

    I just had a total abdominal
    I just had a total abdominal hysterectomy with both ovaries removed on May 5th, 2009. It wasnt for cancer but for other ongoing reasons. I am 27 and they have me on estrogen patches. The recovery time takes a bit. I am still not 100% but getting there.
    I go for my core biopsy via both breast friday to see if I have breast cancer.
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143
    hysterectomy vs. oopherectomy
    From what I understand, Tamoxifen prevents the body from using estrogen to grow breast cancer. Aromatase inhibitors, on the other hand, lower the overall amount of estrogen in the body. Therefore having ovaries that produce estrogen works against the AIs, but not necessarily against Tamoxifen. So, if you are to take AI's you must either have your ovaries removed (oopherectomy) or medically shut them down by taking Lupron shots (if you are pre-menopausal, of course). Being BRCA positive will also influence this decision, since it puts you at greater risk for ovarian cancer. My oncologist said that she would never want to see an older woman who is BRCA positive with ovaries intact.

    A hysterectomy would be done if you are also at risk for other cancers such as uterine.

    Good luck with your decision.

    Mimi