Patient information. Goserelin Zoladex Breast Services Directorate PIF 1005 V3

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1 Patient information Goserelin Zoladex Breast Services Directorate PIF 1005 V3

2 What is Goserelin? Goserelin is a tried and tested drug used to treat breast cancer. It can be used alone or given with other breast cancer treatments. Why am I being given Goserelin? Goserelin has been shown to be an effective treatment for breast cancer in some women who have not yet gone through the menopause (change of life). How does it work? The most common types of breast cancers use female hormone (oestrogen) to grow. You will only be given Goserelin if you have this type of cancer and you have not gone through the menopause yet. Women who have not gone through the menopause yet, get most of their oestrogen from the ovaries. Goserelin works by switching the ovaries off so less hormone is available in the body. What are the benefits of Goserelin? Goserelin is very effective in reducing the amount of oestrogen in your body. It is a very good anti breast cancer treatment. Are there any alternatives to Goserelin? There may be an alternative to Goserelin, this can be discussed with your consultant or Breast Care Nurse if you wish. What happens if I do not have the treatment? If you do not have the treatment the amount of oestrogen in your body will not be reduced.

3 What is the dose? The drug is given as an injection of 3.6mg every 28 days. The injection is given under the skin of the abdomen (tummy). Inside the injection is a pellet. This pellet slowly dissolves in the fatty tissue, releasing the drug into the body during the month. The injection may be given in clinic for the first time. After this, your family doctor (GP) or Community Nurse may give the injections at home or at the surgery / Health Centre. What happens if I miss an injection? Delaying your injection for two to three days will not make a great difference, but remember that the benefits of the injection are designed to last four weeks so you should have them as regular as possible.missing your injection may cause you to have a period (vaginal bleed). Goserelin is normally given for two years but can be given for longer. Your consultant will discuss this with you. What are the side effects? Your periods usually stop after the first or second injection. Often your periods will return if you stop the injections unless you naturally go through the menopause (change) in the meanwhile. Menopausal symptoms like hot flushes, sweats, loss of sex drive (libido), vaginal dryness, change in breast size and weight gain.

4 You may have headaches, mood changes, and in very rare cases, change in blood pressure or tingling or numbness in fingers or toes. Occasionally there may be bruising at the injection site and general aches in joints or skin rashes. Lack of oestrogen over a long time (several months) may cause some bone thinning (osteoporosis). This may need other treatments to correct it. Your doctor will discuss with you if you need other treatment. However, if your period returns after stopping goserelin, your bone health should get better. Early in treatment, there may be a slight increased risk of getting a blood clot. Important Even though your periods stop while you are receiving Goserelin injections, the injections are not a contraceptive. If you normally use contraception,it is important that you seek advice about non-hormonal methods of contraception, such as condoms, coil or diaphragm from your family planning doctor or nurse. It is most important that you do not risk becoming pregnant or be pregnant while receiving these injections because of the risk to the pregnancy or baby. Can I have Goserelin while taking other medicines? Yes, you can take other medicines while receiving these injections. You should not be taking the pill (oral contraceptive) see note above.

5 Can I drink alcohol while receiving Goserelin? Yes, it is safe to drink alcohol. Further Information If you any further questions, or would like to talk through any of the above in more detail, please contact your Breast Care Nurse. Or you could see your GP or Hospital Consultant. Breast Care Nurse Tel: Textphone Number: Breast Nurse Practitioner Tel: Textphone Number: Or you may like to contact: Breast Cancer Care: Tel: Website: MacMillan Tel: Website: There are many local support groups, please ask your Macmillan Breast Care Nurse

6 Author: Breast Service Directorate Review date: April 2017

7 All Trust approved information is available on request in alternative formats, including other languages, easy read, large print, audio, Braille, moon and electronically.

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