Sunday, 5 July 2015

Breast Cancer Treatment - The nasty Zoladex Injections

What is Zoladex??

Zoladex (goserelin acetate) Implant 3.6 mg is used in men to treat symptoms of prostate cancer, and in women to treat breast cancer or endometriosis. It is also used in women to prepare the lining of the uterus for endometrial ablation (a surgery to correct abnormal uterine bleeding).
If you are on zoladex implants as part of your treatment then you will be familiar with the not so wonderful side effects. Let's start with the more serious side effects-

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

back pain, severe numbness or tingling in your legs or feet;
muscle weakness, problems with balance or coordination;
loss of bladder or bowel control;
urinating less than usual or not at all;
pain or burning when you urinate;
blood in your urine or stools;
feeling like you might pass out;
trouble breathing;
pale skin, easy bruising;
nausea, loss of appetite, increased thirst, muscle weakness, confusion, and feeling tired or restless;
high blood sugar (increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss);
sudden numbness or weakness, sudden severe headache, confusion, problems with vision or speech; or
chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling.

Less serious side effects may include:

hot flashes, sweating, headache, dizziness;
mood changes, increased or decreased interest in sex;
vaginal dryness, itching, or discharge;
impotence, fewer erections than normal;
breast swelling or tenderness;
bone pain;
diarrhea, constipation;
sleep problems (insomnia); or
acne, mild skin rash or itching.

Yes, yes and yes. and let's add to that list tiredness.

What is it used for ?
Zoladex prevents the production of certain types of hormones in the body. It is used to treat prostate or breast cancers which are sensitive to hormones. It is not suitable for children or for treating cancers which are not sensitive to hormones. Zoladex is also used in women who are having surgery or other procedures to treat uterine fibroids or other uterine problems. Zoladex is also used to treat endometriosis or as part of a programme of fertility treatment in women.

Zoladex is an implant – it will be implanted by a healthcare professional. The person responsible for giving you your medicine will make sure that you get the right dose.

Some people will have zoladex injections every twenty eight days for two years. Others, like me will have them evry twenty eight days for five years.