How successful is letrozole for breast cancer? In the intention-to-treat analysis, women who received letrozole alone had a disease-free survival rate of 73.8 percent at 8 years, compared with a rate of 70.4 percent for women who received tamoxifen alone.

How long should you take letrozole after breast cancer? People being treated for primary breast cancer will usually take letrozole for five to ten years. Some people start taking letrozole after a few years of taking the hormone therapy drug tamoxifen.

What are the long term side effects of letrozole? 

Side effects that are more likely to take a few months to develop and persist long term include:
  • blood changes, such as decreases in white blood cell counts or platelets.
  • edema (swelling that usually affects your hands, feet, legs, or arms)
  • hair loss.
  • high cholesterol.

Is letrozole a form of chemotherapy? Official answer. Letrozole is not chemotherapy, it is a type of hormone therapy that is used to treat people with breast cancer that is hormone receptor-positive.

How successful is letrozole for breast cancer? – Additional Questions

What happens after 5 years of taking letrozole?

An additional 5 years of letrozole resulted in a 34% reduction in the risk of recurrence, with no worsening of quality of life. No new side effects or emergent symptoms were reported with extending letrozole for another 5 years.

Does letrozole cause chemo brain?

A study in nonhuman primates by researchers at the University of Massachusetts and the University of Maryland School of Medicine has shown that the breast cancer drug letrozole has adverse effects on the brain.

What type of drug is letrozole?

Letrozole belongs to a group of medicines called aromatase inhibitors. Aromatase inhibitor medicines are used to treat certain types of breast cancer, where the cancer cells need oestrogen (a hormone) in order to grow.

What drug class is letrozole?

Letrozole is in a class of medications called nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitors. It works by decreasing the amount of estrogen produced by the body.

Can letrozole shrink tumors?

For example, women whose tumors made or ‘expressed’ either of these proteins (ErbB-1 or ErbB-2) appeared to be largely resistant to the effects of tamoxifen, the study showed. Letrozole, however, was very effective in these types of tumors, shrinking them in 88 percent of women.

Is aromatase inhibitor chemotherapy?

Aromatase inhibitors are extremely potent and important treatments for ER-positive breast cancer. Just as most chemotherapy regimens reduce the risk of recurrence by 50%, so do these pills.

What does letrozole do to the body?

Letrozole is also used to help prevent the cancer from returning. Some breast cancers are made to grow faster by a natural hormone called estrogen. Letrozole decreases the amount of estrogen the body makes and helps to slow or reverse the growth of these breast cancers.

Why does letrozole cause joint pain?

Pain in the joints and muscles (arthralgia)

Women taking a type of hormone therapy called aromatase inhibitors (such as anastrozole, letrozole and exemestane) for breast cancer, may have joint pain and sometimes muscle pain. This is probably caused by a decrease in oestrogen levels.

Why do you gain weight from aromatase inhibitors?

Weight gain may also occur because aromatase inhibitors (such as anastrozole) counteract the effects of estrogen. An enzyme called lipoprotein lipase (LPL) sits on the surface of cells and pulls fat out of the bloodstream. On a muscle cell it puts fat into the cell where it is used for fuel.

Does letrozole cause belly fat?

Hi yorkshirelass, Weight gain is one of the occasional side effects that can occur when taking letrozole but if you are finding it difficult to control then it may be worth getting in touch with your doctor to let them know.

How do you avoid weight gain with aromatase inhibitors?

Exercise appears to be the best strategy to prevent aromatase inhibitor-associated weight gain and body fat distribution changes. One study reported that a combined resistance and aerobic exercise program succeeded in improving body composition in breast cancer survivors taking aromatase inhibitors.

Does letrozole increase appetite?

Change in appetite

You may find your appetite increases when you are taking letrozole. Eating well and keeping active will help if you have concerns about your weight.

Can letrozole affect your teeth?

Does letrozole cause teeth-related side effects? Teeth-related side effects weren’t reported with letrozole use during studies. Letrozole can cause bone pain and joint pain. If these affect your jaw, it’s possible the pain could spread and feel like tooth pain.

Does letrozole cause facial hair growth?

Changes to hair or facial hair

You may have some hair loss or thinning while taking letrozole. A small number of women notice an increase in downy facial hair.

Why does letrozole cause tiredness?

This medicine may increase the amount of cholesterol and fat in the blood. If this happens, your doctor may give you medicine to lower the cholesterol and fat in the blood. This medicine may make you dizzy, drowsy, or tired than they are normally.

How common is hair loss with letrozole?

In clinical studies with Femara, when compared with other breast cancer treatments that may also cause hair loss, about 3.4% to 6.2% of women taking Femara reported hair loss of varying degrees. Most hair thinning or loss was not graded as a serious effect.

How do I know if letrozole is working?

How will I know if Letrozole is working? You may be asked to have a blood test during the menstrual cycle in which you are taking Letrozole. We usually take this blood sample on day 21 of your menstrual cycle and measure levels of the female hormone called progesterone. A level of 30 nmol/L or more is a good result.