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kathysway (@kathysway)

Questions about Hormone Blockers: Side Effects?

Breast Cancer | Last Active: Aug 6, 2020 | Replies (27)

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@kathysway, I changed the title of your discussion to be specific to your question. @sparklegram is right. There are several discussions currently in the Breast Cancer group focused on hormone blockers (aromatase inhibitors, called AIs and selective estrogen receptor modulators, called SERMs).
There are 3 AIs
– Arimidex (chemical name: anastrozole)
– Aromasin (chemical name: exemestane)
– Femara (chemical name: letrozole)

There are three SERMs:
– tamoxifen in pill form (also called tamoxifen citrate; brand name: Nolvadex) and in liquid form (brand name: Soltamox)
– Evista (chemical name: raloxifene)
– Fareston (chemical name: toremifene)

Here is a list of related discussions in the Breast Cancer group:
– Anastrozole…has anyone had an increase in glucose or cholesterol https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/anastrozole-has-anyone-had-an-increase-in-glucose-or-cholesterol/
– Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/i-completed-all-treatments-for-breast-cancer-but-now-i-am-supposed/
– Completed 5 years of anastrozole. Withdrawal symptoms? Side effects? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/stopping-anastrozole-after-5-years-withdrawal-symptoms/
– Can anyone speak to the pros/cons of arimidex vs. tamoxifen? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/can-anyone-speak-to-the-proscons-of-arimidex-vs-tomoxifen-ive-been-on/
– Cognitive impairment, forgetfulness with hormone blockers https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/cognitive-impairment-forgetfulness-with-hormone-blockers/
– Timing of HRT, anastrozole – taking day or night? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/timing-of-hrt-anastrozole-taking-day-or-night/
– Letrozole https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/letrozole/
– Stage 1 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma: Exemestane and side affects https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/exemestane-and-side-affects/
– Aromatase Inhihibitors: Did you decide to go on them or not? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/arimidex/
– What problems have you had with Tamoxifen?
– Tamoxifen 10mg vs 20mg https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/tamoxifen-10mg-vs-20mg/

Kathy, this is a crazy list of discussions. I provide them only as an inventory of the support you have here on Connect. As Sparklegram says, not everyone gets side effects. Women who don't have side effects tend not to write on the forum as they don't need support. I hope that you are one of them. As you get ready to move to a new treatment after radiation, what questions do you have? What questions would you like to prepare for your oncologist?

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Replies to "@kathysway, I changed the title of your discussion to be specific to your question. @sparklegram is..."

Hi Colleen,
Thank-you so much for the links, especially for the Hormonal Therapy Side Effects Comparison Chart. I’m about to start taking an Aromatase Inhibitor. My oncologist said I could choose any of the three. But with all the serious side effects, and to make that decision, I’m looking for randomized controlled trials (RCT) that answer these questions:
1. Are there links to RCT trials that demonstrate the efficacy of these drugs > Arimidex (anastrozole) vs. Aromasin (exemestane) vs. Femara (letrozole) vs. a control group of women who do not take an AI? It would be ideal to see any more recent reports that reevaluated the efficacy and where more years of data were included.
2. My oncologist indicated the standard AI dosage is exactly the same for every woman regardless of stage/grade/type of estrogen positive breast cancer. Are there any RCT studies available where the dosage was evaluated based on the severity of the cancer? Did the trials dosage determination include that criteria too?
3. The oncologist also noted the standard dosage is the same if the woman weighs 90 or 395+ pounds. Are there any RCT studies available where the dosage was evaluated based on the patients weight or BMI?

I’ve looked for this info on many websites including the FDA, NIH, Mayo clinic and more without luck and truly appreciate any info you may provide.