09 Aug PiNK: Your Questions Answered -Anxious to stop hormone therapy-
Breast Cancer Care’s experts answer your questions about breast cancer and its treatment
PiNK 2018 SPRING p.7
Q: My oncologist has just told me I can stop taking my hormone therapy. I’ve been waiting for this day for years and thought I would feel happy. But I feel really anxious. Is this normal?
A: It’s not uncommon for women to feel anxious and worried when they come to the end of their hormone therapy. They often describe feeling vulnerable and, like you, worry they are losing their safety net. On one level you feel you should be happy because your treatment is finishing. But on another level it can feel as if nothing is being done to reduce the risk of your cancer coming back, and the fear of recurrence can sometimes be overwhelming.
You may find it reassuring to know that research has shown women continue to benefit from hormone therapy even after stopping treatment. This is called the carryover effect.
It’s also important to remember that if you have any new symptoms or concerns, you can be referred back to the breast clinic for an assessment. You should have been told who to contact in this case, whether it’s your breast care nurse, breast clinic or GP.
With time you’re likely to begin to feel less anxious. But if these feelings continue and are interfering with your enjoyment of life, talk to your GP. They may refer you for counselling or other talking therapies to help you move forward.