← Return to Aromatase Inhibitors: Did you decide to go on them or not?

nanato6 (@nanato6)

Aromatase Inhibitors: Did you decide to go on them or not?

Breast Cancer | Last Active: May 12 5:25pm | Replies (1190)

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Glad you caught the cancer early. I had a stage 0 LCIS which 2 years later became a Stage One. Because the Lobular is trickier, I opted to have a bi lateral mastectomy so I wouldn't have to go through all the constant testing and worry. All that said……I tried the aromatase drugs (Letrozole and Arimidex) and had ALL the side effects (just lucky I guess) and opted not to use them……at Stage 0 and again at Stage 1. BUT, I think I am the exception. I can't tolerate most drugs. There are lots of people who do tolerate them pretty well. I was 56 when I was first diagnosed and am 61 now. I opted for feeling better most of the time vs. the drugs, but why not try them, see how you feel on them and take it from there. I tried 2 different ones and the Letrozole was better than the Arimidex for me. Everyone is different. I wish I could have tolerated them because perhaps it would have stopped my cancer from advancing to a Stage 1 ultimately. If they make you feel bad you can always quit them. If they are tolerable….perhaps you won't have the cancer again???? There are so many tough decisions to make at a time when you are least emotionally able to make them, so hugs to you.

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Replies to "Glad you caught the cancer early. I had a stage 0 LCIS which 2 years later..."

Thank you for your advice and kind words. It’s great to connect with people who are traveling the same path. There just seems to be so little research for early stage non- invasive cancer, but you are right best to try it.

@cindylb, I also had ALL of the side effects. When the doctor started telling me about the side effects, I didn't really listen, because I have never had side effects from any drug I have taken. About a week after starting them, I was trying to get out of bed and noticed my fingers were really stiff, and then remembered him saying something about that. In week 2, it got worse, much worse and it has continued on since. I am trying 3 weeks on and 1 week off, and hoping that each time I start it again, some of the SE will dissipate. My main concern is with the lasting effects on my joints. I understand bone loss is a given, but I am wondering if, after I stop taking it, will my joints be OK. Luckily, I had great bone density, and never had a joint issue to speak of, now however, when I finish these meds (at my time to retire), am I going to be able to resume all of my activities.

When you say the Letrozole was better than the Arimidex, what specifically are you referring to with regard to side effects?

You are not the exception 25 to 35 percent of woman have serious enough problems they stop the medication .

I’m 60 and just diagnosed. I have such a huge family history of breast cancer on my mother’s side. For this reason, I am leaning towards a bilateral. Everything I have learned about LCIS, states that a mammogram can not detect it. It’s usually detected through a biopsy or surgery. If you had to make the decision again, would you have opted for a lumpectomy or bilateral?