I asked if I can start to wean myself off the lexapro and the answer was yes! This helps with hot flashes and mood swings by stabilizing your mood. It can also be used to treat major depression and anxiety in adults as well and is generally the main reason for usage. I would like to give it a go and see if I can handle these issues on my own. To learn more about the drug: http://www.drugs.com/lexapro.html
To jump into a quick recap on what is a tumor markers? http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/detection/tumor-markers
- Tumor markers are substances found in the blood, urine, stool, other bodily fluids, or tissues of some patients with cancer.
- Tumor markers may be used to help diagnose cancer, predict a patient’s response to certain cancer therapies, check a patient’s response to treatment, or determine whether cancer has returned.
- More than 20 tumor markers are currently in use.
Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA)
- Cancer types: Colorectal cancer and breast cancer
- Tissue analyzed: Blood
- How used: To check whether colorectal cancer has spread; to look for breast cancer recurrence and assess response to treatment
- Cancer type: Breast cancer
- Tissue analyzed: Blood
- How used: To assess whether treatment is working or disease has recurred
She granted my wish I will come back to her in 6 weeks time on January 2 to discuss the results of a CT scan and a bone scan. I already have my CT scan with contrast dye scheduled for the day after Thanksgiving. I still have to get the bone scan scheduled. Additionally, at this time we will discuss stopping the lexapro completely and adding a new drug in the form of a shot once a month called Lupron. What is Lupron and what can it add to the mix you might be asking?
There are certain hormones that can attach to breast cancer cells and affect their ability to multiply. The purpose of endocrine therapy, formerly called hormone therapy, is to add, block, or remove hormones.
With breast cancer, the female hormones estrogen and progesterone can promote the growth of some breast cancer cells. Therefore in some patients, endocrine therapy is given to block the body's naturally occurring estrogen to slow or stop the cancer's growth.
There are two types of hormone therapy for breast cancer.
- Drugs that inhibit estrogen and progesterone from promoting breast cancer cell growth.
- Drugs or surgery to turn off the production of hormones from the ovaries.
Here is a list of the side effects of Lupron:
Less serious side effects may include:
- acne, increased growth of facial hair;
- breakthrough bleeding in a females during the first 2 months of use;
- dizziness, weakness, tired feeling;
- hot flashes, night sweats, chills, clammy skin;
- nausea, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain;
- skin redness, itching, or scaling;
- joint or muscle pain;
- vaginal itching or discharge;
- breast swelling or tenderness;
- testicle pain (used in prostate cancer treatment of symptoms);
- impotence, loss of interest in sex;
- depression, sleep problems (insomnia), memory problems; or
- redness, burning, stinging, or pain where the shot was given.
Serious side effect such as:
- bone pain, loss of movement in any part of your body;
- swelling, rapid weight gain;
- pain, burning, stinging, bruising, or redness where the medication was injected;
- feeling like you might pass out;
- sudden chest pain or discomfort, wheezing, dry cough or hack;
- painful or difficult urination;
- urinating more often than usual;
- high blood sugar (increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss);
- sudden numbness or weakness (especially on one side of the body), problems with speech or balance;
- sudden headache with vision problems, vomiting, confusion, slow heart rate, weak pulse, fainting, or slow breathing; or
- chest pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, general ill feeling.
- pain or unusual sensations in your back;
- numbness, weakness, or tingly feeling in your legs or feet;
- muscle weakness or loss of use;
- loss of bowel or bladder control; or
- nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
I am exhausted after today and need to head to bed now. I need some additional time to process this all.
Here are some additional links to read up on Lupron: