Stop Hormone Therapy After 5 Years?

Last Modified: December 7, 2007

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Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

After five years of Arimidex, I have now been told by my oncologist to stop taking it. Wouldn't it be better to take it just in case it might do some good? There are many problems I would prefer to a breast cancer recurrence.

Answer

Nancy Zieber, RN, MSN, CRNP, Oncology/Hematology Nurse Practitioner, responds:

It seems simple, but the research just does not support ongoing hormonal therapy. We have been fooled in the past, and Tamoxifen is a prime example. When Tamoxifen was continued for longer than 5 years, the recurrence rate actually went up compared to those on placebo. So, things aren’t always as simple as they seem. Consider yourself cured, and keep that in mind whenever you feel worried about recurrence.



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