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

Posted by nanato6 @nanato6, Oct 12, 2018

Nanaloves: I’m about to start arimidex and just feel that the contraindications , bone issues etc. are overwhelming. I’m 70 years old, dodged a bullet I feel with zero stage DCIS but the follow up is pretty much no different then if it was more aggressive. I’ve just done 33 treatments of radiation and now they advise arimidex as a preventative. I’m not sure with the beginnings of arthritis and lower back. sensitivity already that I should take it. Anyone not take it and not have a recurrence within the 5 years.

I have been on Letrozole for 3 months now. Mild hot flashes for first 10 days, then joint pain in hips set in. Varying degrees, from maybe 2 to 6 pain level, unpredictable; some days mild, some days quite intense, also changing during course of day (and sometimes enough to wake me up at night). Chain reaction: hip pain caused my pretty much under control Sciatica to flare up again, which in turn caused me to tighten up some muscles, which threw my gait off, which caused more joint/muscle pain……………………….. Thanks to “my” PT guy who has taken care of me after assorted orthopedic surgeries I have now strengthened/relaxed hip and thigh areas to the point where I am close to ok again. As far as gait is concerned. Joint pain of course will continue. If it gets any worse, I may ask for a short break from Letrozole. My mother died of metastatic breast cancer, so I try to follow oncologists recommendations to lessen the chance of this happening to me.

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@mjay

Has anyone decided to discontinue or not even start Aromatase Inhibitors such as Arimidex and pursue a healthier diet including natural Aromatase Inhibitors such as mushrooms? It's my understanding white button mushrooms can inhibit testosterone converting to estrogen by 60% and wonder if this is a viable option for those of us suffering severe AI side effects, along with other cancer-fighting foods and generally healthy Whole Foods diet. TIA

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Have been taking Arimedex for 3 months. At the 2 month oncology visit, Dr. said if I was not having side effects at 2 months, I should be OK. At the visit I also qualified for a Covid booster (Moderna). I'm 74 so my joints ache anyway but in the last month have had a dull headache/neckache. Taking ibuprofen helps. I was told by 2 oncologists that with the early detection and type of breast cancer I have, if the AI side effects were too much, I could quit. Sigh. Will give it another week. Wondering if it's the booster or the AI or both or neither!!

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I had HR2 cAncer. This was the 2nd time I had cancer. My issue with my AI, Arimdex, is that my joints hurt and I fell like I am back menopause. I also have Sjogrens which gives you joint pain. Rheumatologist feels the joint pain is worse due to the Arimdex. I think about this and at this point I just don't want cancer again. So I take it every other day.

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I have posted before about this, my side effects from Anastrozole were not severe until I had been on it about 18 months. The joint pain and stiffness was so bad I couldn't walk, I now have osteoporosis, and had so much trouble sleeping that I was only getting three or four hours of sleep a night. I stopped taking it in March and it has taken this long to feel better, I still have days where I am very fatigued but am sleeping so much better. This decision is not for everyone, it will be two years since my surgery in December, I go in every three months for an exam and blood work, for me quality of life and being able to move were the deciding factor. I have no interest in Tamoxifen and feel switching to a different type of drug won't help. It's a journey, I am 76 years old.

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Some days, my mind wanders down the road to what is worse, the disease, or the cure. Then I remember the days of chemo, I think definitely the cure is worse, but then I walk a little further down the road and I am grateful for the life I have and the ability to walk down the road, even if I am quite a bit slower than I would have been without cancer. Because I had aggressive cancer, young, I toughed it out through all of the treatments. It was grueling at times but the hope of seeing retirement age spurred me on. What Spurs you forward each day?

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@auntieoakley

Some days, my mind wanders down the road to what is worse, the disease, or the cure. Then I remember the days of chemo, I think definitely the cure is worse, but then I walk a little further down the road and I am grateful for the life I have and the ability to walk down the road, even if I am quite a bit slower than I would have been without cancer. Because I had aggressive cancer, young, I toughed it out through all of the treatments. It was grueling at times but the hope of seeing retirement age spurred me on. What Spurs you forward each day?

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That's the other part. We were in the process of setting up our retirement life. Then my husband got prostate cancer (early stage, he is doing ok, then Covid hit, then I got breast cancer (also early stage) . So am coming to terms with the realization that the life we looked forward to, in general, is seriously compromised due to Covid. I feel like a big whiner, others have it so much worse. Just visited a HS classmate who has end stage Alzheimers. What spurs me forward each day? Honestly, I don't know. I need to regroup.

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What spurs me forward? I try to enjoy my yard, the gifts I have received from God and a little dog whose owner died in a car accident and needed a home. I had just put my 11 year old dog down and said, "no more dogs" because I was uncertain of my future. She literally landed in my lap and is such a joy. During these times when C-19 is such a big threat and the ability to socialize is diminished, living alone was not healthy for me, I needed Sadie. I have gotten much better at not doing "what if" and instead try to live for the moment and find the strength to deal with the future when it happens. I can't change it anyway.

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@sandyrob

That's the other part. We were in the process of setting up our retirement life. Then my husband got prostate cancer (early stage, he is doing ok, then Covid hit, then I got breast cancer (also early stage) . So am coming to terms with the realization that the life we looked forward to, in general, is seriously compromised due to Covid. I feel like a big whiner, others have it so much worse. Just visited a HS classmate who has end stage Alzheimers. What spurs me forward each day? Honestly, I don't know. I need to regroup.

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@sandyrob: Are your sure you did not try to imitate my situation? Same, husband early prostate cancer, me early breast cancer, and COVIDIOTS all around. Mostly, being informed on Mayo websites helps, but being surrounded by science challenged local government (known also as McDisaster/SC), equilibrium is hard to come by with also cancer treatment issues.
We did, however, make it to early retirement age, so our ditto situation was a little later (my breast cancer this spring, prostate 2 years ago). Still similar, and by no means any easier. Best of luck to you and your husband!

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Wow, so my husband was diagnosed a couple months ago with prostrate cancer, we are still working on what all of that means for us. He already had multiple myeloma. You all sound so resilient, that is serious girl power. I am still shooting for retirement age. Although I am MBC now, I still plan on retiring at 65 in 9 years. I was diagnosed originally 17 years ago.

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@ellerbracke

@sandyrob: Are your sure you did not try to imitate my situation? Same, husband early prostate cancer, me early breast cancer, and COVIDIOTS all around. Mostly, being informed on Mayo websites helps, but being surrounded by science challenged local government (known also as McDisaster/SC), equilibrium is hard to come by with also cancer treatment issues.
We did, however, make it to early retirement age, so our ditto situation was a little later (my breast cancer this spring, prostate 2 years ago). Still similar, and by no means any easier. Best of luck to you and your husband!

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Thank you, I leave on Monday to deal with hurricane Ida damage at our house on the Gulf Coast. So have one more thing to add. Oh, and my husband retired but decided to go back to work. 1st world problems.

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@sandyrob

Thank you, I leave on Monday to deal with hurricane Ida damage at our house on the Gulf Coast. So have one more thing to add. Oh, and my husband retired but decided to go back to work. 1st world problems.

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Be safe, I hope there isn’t too much damage on your house.

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I did not have many problems on Femara. People who didn't have many problems tend not to post, so just adding that to the mix. I am sensitive to so many medications, and foods, but Femara was okay. I took brand name. I found that if I walked more than 25 minutes, any pain got better and by 45 minutes I was good. Hot flashes were minor. (I was surprised that use of an AI qualified a person for a booster as immunocompromised since these drugs don't compromise the immune system.)

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