Getting educated to help

Options
manorfield
manorfield Member Posts: 4
My Mother was just diagnosed with Breast Cancer Stage 3. It is a complete shock to me; as I didn't know anything about the stages and what everything means.

She has a high Estrogen level and because she is older, they want to try Femara on her first as a hormone pill to shrink the tumors and God willing if they need to operated, remove them then. Can anyone tell me the success rate of Femara on Stage 3. I am an only child and her only caregiver, I am so afraid for her. Any information about this kind of Breast Cancer would be greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • MAJW
    MAJW Member Posts: 2,510 Member
    Options
    Sorry...
    Sorry your Mother was diagnosed with breast cancer....you've found us...this is a wonderful site for first hand information and personal experiences...
    I have to say I've never heard of trying Femara first to shrink tumors, usually it's chemotherapy to shrink tumors to make them easier to remove...how old is your Mom? Hopefully others will chime in and be of more help on taking Femara first...but I've never heard of this...

    We ALL understand your fear....please attend any and all doctor's appointments with her...don't be afraid to ask questions and better yet, get a second opinion...a third if necessary....

    Please continue to post and keep us posted....we truly care
    Hugs, Nancy
  • manorfield
    manorfield Member Posts: 4
    Options
    MAJW said:

    Sorry...
    Sorry your Mother was diagnosed with breast cancer....you've found us...this is a wonderful site for first hand information and personal experiences...
    I have to say I've never heard of trying Femara first to shrink tumors, usually it's chemotherapy to shrink tumors to make them easier to remove...how old is your Mom? Hopefully others will chime in and be of more help on taking Femara first...but I've never heard of this...

    We ALL understand your fear....please attend any and all doctor's appointments with her...don't be afraid to ask questions and better yet, get a second opinion...a third if necessary....

    Please continue to post and keep us posted....we truly care
    Hugs, Nancy

    Hi
    Hi Nancy,

    Thanks for the note. The Onocologist thought because she has estrogen receptor breast cancer, it would respond well to Femara. Again I am trying to get educated on this and we are going for 2 more opinons. They thought at 81 Chemo would have bad side effect for her. If you or anyone else has any information to share on this, or Doctor recommentations, please advise.

    Thanks.
  • Rague
    Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
    Options
    Perhaps your Mom's age and
    Perhaps your Mom's age and other health issues are the reason why they want to try a possibly 'kinder/gentler' route first. I have heard of someone who said they had taken an estrogen blocker (don't remember which one other than it wasn't Femara/letrozole) but they were much younger (late 30's/early 40's), a lower stage and I think it was DCIS.

    Femara/letrozole can be quit difficult with it's side effects for some - I've been on it for a bit over 2 yrs with with no nasty SE's. I'm IBC (Inflammatory Breast Cancer) which is the most aggressive form with not great prognosis but Femara seems to be working for me to keep it from metastising so far as I'm still NED (No Evidence of Disease). But there is a difference in keeping it at bay once TX'd and attacking it while still active.

    The protocol for the different forms (DCIS/Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, LCIS/Lobular Carcinoma In Situ, IDC/Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, ILC/Invasive Lobular Carcinoma, IBC/Inflammatory Breast Cancer). TX is further modified by ER/PR + or - and HER2 + or -. ER+ cancers feed off estrogen so the blockers are used to sort of starve it as blocks the ability to feed off estrogen. Even after menopause our body still makes some estrogen and we get it foods.

    Try to find out the form and that will help you in searching for info and for others to reply. Seond/third opinions are in order definately.

    Winyan - The Power Within

    Susan
  • manorfield
    manorfield Member Posts: 4
    Options
    Rague said:

    Perhaps your Mom's age and
    Perhaps your Mom's age and other health issues are the reason why they want to try a possibly 'kinder/gentler' route first. I have heard of someone who said they had taken an estrogen blocker (don't remember which one other than it wasn't Femara/letrozole) but they were much younger (late 30's/early 40's), a lower stage and I think it was DCIS.

    Femara/letrozole can be quit difficult with it's side effects for some - I've been on it for a bit over 2 yrs with with no nasty SE's. I'm IBC (Inflammatory Breast Cancer) which is the most aggressive form with not great prognosis but Femara seems to be working for me to keep it from metastising so far as I'm still NED (No Evidence of Disease). But there is a difference in keeping it at bay once TX'd and attacking it while still active.

    The protocol for the different forms (DCIS/Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, LCIS/Lobular Carcinoma In Situ, IDC/Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, ILC/Invasive Lobular Carcinoma, IBC/Inflammatory Breast Cancer). TX is further modified by ER/PR + or - and HER2 + or -. ER+ cancers feed off estrogen so the blockers are used to sort of starve it as blocks the ability to feed off estrogen. Even after menopause our body still makes some estrogen and we get it foods.

    Try to find out the form and that will help you in searching for info and for others to reply. Seond/third opinions are in order definately.

    Winyan - The Power Within

    Susan

    Getting help
    Hi Nancy,

    Thanks for the post and concern. She has no other health problems, but they said Femara has been successful for others in some cases. Again we are going to other doctors for second opinons. I'm sorry to hear your experiences have been hard.

    It's great to talk to someone who understands. I feel so alone and scared for my Mother.
  • SIROD
    SIROD Member Posts: 2,194 Member
    Options
    Femara, one of the Hormonal Therapies
    Hi,

    I was NED from bone mets for years on Arimidex (Aromatase Inhibitor like Femara). In 2008, a ct scan showed that the cancer was back in both lungs, pleura (lining) and had a pleura effusion. I went on Faslodex (another hormonal therapy). I did progress on this drug and went on Femara and for two years the tumors remained inactive. They were always there but did not grow. I progressed again ..... and, I am still using hormonal therapy.

    I am highly ER positive too. I am not as old as your mother but not that far in age either.

    Hormonal therapy is a target therapy and is better than chemotherapy for those of us who are ER or PR positive.

    Your mother is getting very good advise. Wishing her well on this journey.

    Best,

    Doris
  • MAJW
    MAJW Member Posts: 2,510 Member
    Options
    SIROD said:

    Femara, one of the Hormonal Therapies
    Hi,

    I was NED from bone mets for years on Arimidex (Aromatase Inhibitor like Femara). In 2008, a ct scan showed that the cancer was back in both lungs, pleura (lining) and had a pleura effusion. I went on Faslodex (another hormonal therapy). I did progress on this drug and went on Femara and for two years the tumors remained inactive. They were always there but did not grow. I progressed again ..... and, I am still using hormonal therapy.

    I am highly ER positive too. I am not as old as your mother but not that far in age either.

    Hormonal therapy is a target therapy and is better than chemotherapy for those of us who are ER or PR positive.

    Your mother is getting very good advise. Wishing her well on this journey.

    Best,

    Doris

    Considering...
    Considering her age, Femara is probably the way to go...as chemotherapy can be really difficult....I'm on it again... The side effects can be brutal for some people....I'm glad others responded

    I have a daughter, too.....I know how this has affected her, we are very, very close ....so I can understand your fear..and I lost my mother when I was just 25...so again, I understand as all of us on this get it....

    Please let us know how her second opinion goes...we truly care...
    Big hugs, Nancy
  • manorfield
    manorfield Member Posts: 4
    Options
    SIROD said:

    Femara, one of the Hormonal Therapies
    Hi,

    I was NED from bone mets for years on Arimidex (Aromatase Inhibitor like Femara). In 2008, a ct scan showed that the cancer was back in both lungs, pleura (lining) and had a pleura effusion. I went on Faslodex (another hormonal therapy). I did progress on this drug and went on Femara and for two years the tumors remained inactive. They were always there but did not grow. I progressed again ..... and, I am still using hormonal therapy.

    I am highly ER positive too. I am not as old as your mother but not that far in age either.

    Hormonal therapy is a target therapy and is better than chemotherapy for those of us who are ER or PR positive.

    Your mother is getting very good advise. Wishing her well on this journey.

    Best,

    Doris

    Hi
    Hi Doris,

    Thank you for your note and encouragement. She also has a very good anti toxic diet, which seems to help keep Caner at bay. I am thinking of you and all you are going though as well.