One of my local EndoWarriors has started a new medication to help with her Endometriosis pain and symptoms, based upon the recommendation of her new physician. It’s Letrozole, which I had never heard of. And she asked me if I had any info on it…so…now I’m inspired to do some research!
What is Letrozole?
Letrozole is the generic name for Femara, a drug classified as an aromatase inhibitor. What is aromatase? It’s an enzyme that is crucial in the creation of estrogen. Aromatase inhibitors have been FDA approved for treating breast cancer in post-menopausal patients. However, it has piqued the interest of the medical community in controlling Endometriosis symptoms. It is not yet FDA approved for this treatment, but is used as an off-label, accepted treatment among the medical community. As of today’s research, there are no indications that drug manufacturers are going to seek FDA approval for aromatase inhibitors to treat Endometriosis.
A friend asked me to look up any connections between Endometriosis and Cesarean Sections. So, here we go. Lots of science in this one! Some studies show that less than 1% of women who undergo a cesarean section end up developing incisional Endometriosis (Endometriosis in or along the c-section scar). However, that tiny little 1% number has a staggering amount of studies involving a lot of women who suffer from this form of Endo.
Last night, my boyfriend and I were talking about Endo’s “weirdness” how it can pop up in strange and unheard of places, and he popped the question (no, not THEquestion…), “Are there any reports of men having Endometriosis?” I remembered reading somewhere that there were a few rare cases of it, but hadn’t read them deeply enough to understand their situations, diagnoses, and prognoses. So, we have our topic for today!!
In rare cases, cis-men develop Endometriosis. Transmen also suffer from the disease. But we will focus on cis-men for this blog: it appears many have been treated with long-term or large doses of estrogen therapy, but some are healthy men who have no history of cancer or estrogen treatment. Here’s what I could find:
I had grown up thinking my pain was normal. And only learned after my surgery that I have a disease and it wasn’t normal.
But what does that mean for me physically? What’s changed?
Whether it be from my excision surgery and D&C, my change in diet, the 6 months of Lupron Depot injections, my new birth control pills, or a combination of them all: I won’t know. All I know is things have been very different. Please be advised this blog may be a little bit of TMI…
Many patients with Endometriosis either cannot work or miss several days of work each month due to their pain. Others miss work due to the side effects of their treatments or medications. Others because of surgeries and recovery time. It’s can be a massive economic loss, and many women are reprimanded or fired by their employers due to the lost time.
What protection do we have as Endometriosis sufferers? What can we do? Aren’t there disability laws for stuff like this?
An EndoWarrior came to me with complaints of fatigue, exhaustion, and a general lack of energy. Is it related to Endometriosis? If so, why? And is she the only one who has to take 2-3 naps every day? Let the research begin!
Fatigue & Endo
Fatigue is one of the many common symptoms of Endometriosis. But why does something growing in our bodies make us tired? No one is really sure. Some feel that it could be our body’s coping mechanism to the pain, it could be that our body’s immune system is working on overdrive to fight our inflammation, it could be from depression, or it could be due to the mental and physical stress people with Endometriosis endure. It could even been some deeper unforeseen medical reason that nobody has figured out yet…
I have heard that sometimes when physicians conduct a hysterectomy where the uterus was shredded/broken down and removed through small incisions then biopsied, cancerous cells could be detected during the biopsy. And that the presence of those cancerous cells may remain in the abdominal cavity post-procedure, which may spread and continue to develop. Some women who this happened to ended up having to go through a intense radiation therapy treatment to remove the cancerous cells.
A personal choice for every person with Endometriosis : When have I suffered enough pain and when do I step up the treatment?
Some prefer natural methods of controlling their Endometriosis symptoms : supplements, vitamins, diet, and essential oils. But these methods may not work for everyone. I’ve gone the route of prescription narcotics, surgery, hormonal treatments, eastern medicine, acupuncture, altered diet, etc. Others may have undergone hysterectomies.
When and how do you decide which is right for you? Only you know the answer to that question.
So it’s Sunday, which is Reader’s Choice day, and a friend of mine asked if doctor’s can tell a person has Endometriosis by abnormal blood test results. I know the answer is “no,” but wanted to delve into the different ways Endometriosis may be diagnosed, and the future efforts of modern medicine to help diagnose Endometriosis.