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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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lluna57 – Sorry you're having the side effects too. This isn't scientific in any way but it seems if many breast cancers are hormone positive in some way then our hormones have been working overtime and by adding a pill that alters that yet again….side effects would be the result. I hope that someday research will begin on the hormone imbalance issues that may contribute to breast and ovarian cancers and all the other related maladies some women suffer. My whole life has been the 'poster child' of imbalanced hormones. I enjoy studying breast cancer, the drugs and their effects but there isn't enough information available to the public or patients on exactly how the AI's function. Also, I haven't gotten any detailed information from my doctors. I wonder what other functions those AI's perform to stop cancer and why they create the sometimes dramatic effects in many women.
I too had bones of steel at one point….ha ha. Now they are more like bones of tin perhaps, but only due to my natural hormone decline. The AI's hasten that demise in some way by removing estrogen and progesterone I guess. I do hear that the pain we experience from them goes away once you stop the drugs but I have also had my doctors say they'll just give you another pill to remedy the bone loss……….it's a sort of cascade of pills.
We all have to choose between the cancer and the side effects. I'm hopeful that the next generation of breast cancer patients will have more and better options.
I have my six month check up this Tuesday and I will try to get more information on the AI's and long term effect and perhaps more about how they work. I will share anything new I learn. If anyone else on here has more information, please share. I know I'd benefit from a clearer understanding of the meds and long term effects.

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Replies to "lluna57 - Sorry you're having the side effects too. This isn't scientific in any way but..."

Your description is so right on! My primary doctor likened AI therapy and cancer treatment in general to a game of Jenga. Trying to balance the tower,removing and adding pieces and hoping it all doesn’t collapse.

The aromatase inhibitors stop the production of estrogen. Estrogen helps support bone renewal. Pre-menopausal women are said to have an 'estrogen shield' protecting their bones to some extent. That is lost (though not 100%) with menopause and is one reason that many women take 'hormone replacement therapy' after menopause. Estrogen does a lot of other things as well. I'm not sanguine that it's other functions are getting due attention. Loss of bone density is so obvious that oncologists have to address it for patients on anti-estrogen therapy.