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Had breast cancer, done chemo and radiation. Ovaries shut down and would like to remove. On lupron. Suggest?

Mar 2013
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Yes had stage III breast cancer er positive...went thru chemo and rads. My ovaries only shut down for three months. When they did come back full surge cancer came back, now cancer gone and I would like to remove ovaries. I am currently on lupron shots. I have been for a year. Before cancer I had terrible pain during ovulation. Docs think I should remove ovaries. I am 36 and worried about quality of life without ovaries.
Posted Mon, 14 Oct 2013 in Breast Cancer
Answered by Dr. Aarti Abraham 53 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing to us with your health query.
As you already had a recurrence of full blown breast cancer and you are ER positive for breast cancer, there is absolutely no doubt in scientific literature, that you should have some kind of OA ( ovarian ablation ).
This can be achieved surgically ( removal of ovaries ) or by medication ( medical menopause such as that which is induced by Lupron currently in your case ).
Medical menopause cannot be indefinite.. the side effects of taking Lupron for decades too would be disastrous.
Hence, for a patient who has had a prior recurrence of breast cancer ( hormone dependent ) - surgical oophrectomy ( removal of ovaries ) is a very wise and advisable course of action.
You are justified in being apprehensive about ovarian removal at such a young age, however, when faced with the alternative of the cancer surging back a third time ( in maybe a more aggressive form ), these risks would be quite less formidable.
However, lifestyle modifications, exercise, dietary modifications, behavioural therapy and mild supportive medications could help you tide over the phase.
That said and done, since you are 36, you have about 15 years ahead of you before a ' natural ' menopause.
Would you be able to spend these 15 years being on almost continuous Lupron shots, and otherwise, face the risk of the cancer coming back ?
I know it is like choosing between the devil and the deep sea, but still, if I had to choose a lesser evil for you, then yes, oophrectomy is recommended.
All the best.
Please feel free to ask for further clarifications.
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