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About to start the five year drug….has anyone not taken any of these drugs? Don’t know if the side effects and quality of life during and after is worth the risk. My cancer was so small margins were clear and no cancer in family.
Being prescribed an AI (an aromatase inhibitor like anastrozole) has nothing to do with the size of your tumor or surgical margins. It has to do with the pathology profile of your tumor, whether it is hormone receptor-positive. AIs are designed to lower estrogen levels in the body by blocking aromatase, an enzyme that converts other hormones into estrogen. This slows or stops the growth of the tumor by preventing the cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to grow. AIs lower your risk of cancer recurrence, and increase your chances for disease-free survival.
@crazydaisy, I agree with Elizm. You can try one for a period of time and if your side effects are troublesome with that one, you can communicate with your Oncologist and try a different one. I tried two different ones, and now I've been on Tamoxifen for quite a long time, with no side effects. Keep an open dialogue with your doctor.
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P.S @crazydaisy, Keep us posted, and the very best of luck to you. We're here to listen and support you.
Hi. Had stage 2 invasive lobular breast cancer. Mastectomy in December. Pathology read more like stage 1. Taking anastrozole since January. Was worried because super sensitive to meds. But honestly my side effects are very manageable, to the point of not being noticeable. Wish you well.
@crazydaisy, welcome. If you browse the discussions of the Breast Cancer group (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/breast-cancer/), you will see that many of the discussions focus on aromatase inhibitors, such as
– Arimidex (chemical name: anastrozole)
– Aromasin (chemical name: exemestane)
– Femara (chemical name: letrozole)
Here is a brief inventory of some discussions relevant to your questions:
– Aromatase Inhihibitors: Did you decide to go on them or not? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/arimidex/
– Aromatase Inhibitors side effects https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/aromatase-inhibitors-side-effects/
– Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/i-completed-all-treatments-for-breast-cancer-but-now-i-am-supposed/
Crazydaisy, Hoping you have done research on-line about the side effects of estrogen lowering medications. After breast cancer treatment, my doctor also prescribed anastrozole. At first I thought everything was fine. I didn’t get sick from it, and felt pretty good. After a few months of treatment, I began to have some problems with memory and cognitive function. I was beginning to think I was sliding into dementia, or the early stages of Alzheimer’s. After doing some research, I found that driving estrogen levels too far down can cause these problems. I talked to my oncologist about it, and she switched me to tomoxifin. That was better, but I had an allergic reaction to it and broke out in horrible hives. Then my doctor switched me to Exemestane. I’ve been on that for about a year, and it’s much better for me that the other two. It’s not perfect either, but it seems I tolerate it better.
You may do just fine on Anastrozole, and I hope you do! But be aware that there are side effects with these medications. Colleen’s recommendations to visit a few boards is very worth it!! Everybody reacts to these drugs differently. Good luck to you! Hoping to see you with a post or two of how you are doing!
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