Concerned about the side effects of anastrozole

Posted by tinalove @tinalove, Jan 31, 2016

I completed all treatments for breast cancer but now I am supposed to take hormone blocker, named anastrozole. im concerned about the side effects. Has anyone here taken it and did anyone have hair loss?

@auntieoakley

Please take a deep breath, and try to not let panic take over. I know it is frightening but your mother got breast cancer in another time when there were not nearly as many nor as effective tools in the box to treat it with. I am sorry about your mom, I am sure you wish you could ask her a thousand questions right now. Today we are blessed with many safe and effective treatments to treat breast cancer, not all of them are easy and your treatment plan will likely include some side effects but you are young and have quality time ahead of you. Your pathology report will likely drive your treatment plan. You said you are meeting with the surgeon, is there a plan moving forward or are you discussing options? Any other treatments in the plan yet?

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Thank you Chris for your encouraging words. There is somewhat of a plan in place…MRI – no Node involvement(great news!) Not sure which surgery because of family history, possible genetic testing to concur, no chemo now, radiation & AI . I have questions about ovaries possibly being removed as well (postmenopausal).Tomorrow will be another learning day for us for sure! My Mayo Team is fantastic so far.
Have a great day

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@seashellnana

Thank you Chris for your encouraging words. There is somewhat of a plan in place…MRI – no Node involvement(great news!) Not sure which surgery because of family history, possible genetic testing to concur, no chemo now, radiation & AI . I have questions about ovaries possibly being removed as well (postmenopausal).Tomorrow will be another learning day for us for sure! My Mayo Team is fantastic so far.
Have a great day

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I am really glad you are at Mayo! Please come back and tell me what you found out, or how you are doing.

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@bethab

Hi! @cerwin Yes it’s a tough and personal decision. I have always tried to stay healthy, eat right and exercise regularly. I’ve been on a whole food plant based diet for 5 years. I’m also a personal trainer. I’ve never had to be on any medications. I was in total shock when I found my lump. My oncologist gave me my percentage. She said the percentage was higher because my tumor was 2 cm. I do not want to take the AI but I figured I would give them a try and if I didn’t have side effects then I would continue. So far I can’t tolerate any of them. I start a new one next week and if I have to stop taking them because of side effects I only have one other option, that’s tamoxifen. Not looking forward to it honestly!! I’m going to give it my best shot and if nothing works then so be it, It’s in Gods hands!! I hope you find something that works for you and many blessings to you! Stay strong 💕

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Try a brand name maybe. I had better luck with those.

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@bethab

Hello, @blue850! I tried Anastrozole and within 3 days I started having side effects and by day 10 my oncologist took me off of them because the side effects were so bad. I purposely did not read the side effects before I started them so not to make any up in my head. 🙂 I definitely had side effects. It took 3 weeks to feel better. Then I tried Exemestane (sp). Same thing happened. Not quite as bad but I did develop a really bad rash along with the other side effects. I’m now waiting for 2 weeks to get that out of my system so I can try something else. I would rather not take anything but my chances of my cancer coming back is 25% and the hormone blockers will cut that in half, so I’m going to do my best and try all my options. Good luck with yours. I pray you don’t have any side effects and you breeze right through it! 💕

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Exactly my journey as well even the 25% chance of recurrence if I don’t take estrogen blocker. I was finally put on Tamoxifen. I was on for 3 months and had terrible rib pain upper arm and upper leg pain. Took me off and had chest extras and blood work and all is fine there but going for Nuclear bone scan but now dealing with vertigo the last few weeks. I also take Prolia shot for bone loss every Six months and was researching the side effects and one of the major side effects is muscle pain In the upper arms and upper legs. So really not sure when they call me about getting back on Tamoxifen what I want to do😔

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Member Spotlights feature interviews with fellow Mayo Clinic Connect members. It's an opportunity to learn more about members you’ve connected with and some you haven’t met yet.

I know many of you in the Breast Cancer group have exchanged posts with auntieoakley, so I thought you'd like to see today's featured Spotlight:
– I shall pass this way but once: Meet @auntieoakley https://connect.mayoclinic.org/blog/about-connect/newsfeed-post/i-shall-pass-this-way-but-once-meet-auntieoakley/

Nominate a member to be featured. See more Member Spotlights here https://connect.mayoclinic.org/blog/about-connect/tab/newsfeed/

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@bethab

Hi! @cerwin Yes it’s a tough and personal decision. I have always tried to stay healthy, eat right and exercise regularly. I’ve been on a whole food plant based diet for 5 years. I’m also a personal trainer. I’ve never had to be on any medications. I was in total shock when I found my lump. My oncologist gave me my percentage. She said the percentage was higher because my tumor was 2 cm. I do not want to take the AI but I figured I would give them a try and if I didn’t have side effects then I would continue. So far I can’t tolerate any of them. I start a new one next week and if I have to stop taking them because of side effects I only have one other option, that’s tamoxifen. Not looking forward to it honestly!! I’m going to give it my best shot and if nothing works then so be it, It’s in Gods hands!! I hope you find something that works for you and many blessings to you! Stay strong 💕

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Hello girls, I searched for members who have breast cancer who may also suffer from fibromyalgia chronic pain.
I have tried every drug available for fibro over the past 10 years…not much luck. This year after my mastectomy surgery and subsequent surgery to remove an infected implant, I found a Functional Medicine primary who started me on IV chelation therapy to remove heavy metals from my system, allowing healthy neurotransmitters to not be impeded from growth. Chelation also had helped his patients significantly enhance their quality of life by reducing fibro symptoms.

I am another success story of use of IV chelation and help for fibromyalgia!!! After only a few months, I have almost NO fibromyalgia pain and I’ve had minimal joint pain from Anastrozole as well! I recently developed “trigger thumb” overnite in both hands and upon recommendation from my Mayo Oncologist, I stopped Anastrozole for several weeks to see if there was a correlation, but there wasn’t. My Orthopod gave me steroid injections in both thumbs and severe pain is gone. About 95% of people don’t need anything more. If it comes back, it’s an easy surgery to open the A1 pulley at base of thumb to allow inflamed tendon to glide smoothly. Thumbs would still be functional…

Also, those of you who have had MRIs, scans, etc with contrast, the heavy metals from that need to be flushed out of your body. IV chelation or DMSA capsules can be used for that purpose. (chelation once a week is faster)

I’m now able to take Anastrozole with fewer and less severe side effects. I still struggle with insomnia (even on strong sleep Rx from Neurologist) and extreme fatigue, but I’m blessed to be retired and can catch up on sleep in the daytime if needed.

Another suggestion – for helping prevent metastatic cancer is a proven evidenced-based supplement called “Modified Citrus Pectin”, which my physician wants his patients on. It can be ordered online and just about any brand will do. I only take 3 capsules/day, as maintenance therapy, since I’m already doing chelation. Those not on chelation will need to take more per day.

I’m not a physician, so please don’t just take my advice for these suggestions. Ask your primary, or find a functional medicine doc near you and check it out. Go online and do research on IV chelation and also Modified Citrus Pectin and decide with your doctor what may work. I see no health risk or downside to these methods to enhance my quality of life. I pray you will feel the same and share your good results!! Here’s to less pain and a healthier body!!! 💕💕💕

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Chelation therapy is indeed a treatment to remove metals from your body. Mostly used for lead and Mercury and such heavy metals. I am glad it has made you feel so much better. Our bosses have ways of telling us when things aren’t just right, and treating the whole person not just the part being tested or treated seems to be easier at places like Mayo than in in other systems. That being saidI would like to invite @colleenyoung to see your post and add any additional information and cautions she may have about this treatment.

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@auntieoakley

Chelation therapy is indeed a treatment to remove metals from your body. Mostly used for lead and Mercury and such heavy metals. I am glad it has made you feel so much better. Our bosses have ways of telling us when things aren’t just right, and treating the whole person not just the part being tested or treated seems to be easier at places like Mayo than in in other systems. That being saidI would like to invite @colleenyoung to see your post and add any additional information and cautions she may have about this treatment.

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Can you share a source on how Modified Citrus Pectin prevents metastatic cancer?

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@windyshores

Can you share a source on how Modified Citrus Pectin prevents metastatic cancer?

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Here's one: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11134980/

Pectasol. a MCP product, is expensive!

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There are ongoing studies looking at the promise of Modified Citrus Pectin in reducing metastatic cancer. Most studies are still in the laboratory (in vitro) and animal (in vivo) stages. It is too early to declare MCP as a sure fire method to prevent the spread of cancer cells. But it offers hope and studies continue to pursue this line of important investigation.

The link @windyshores provided above also links to further early studies. Here's some plain language information about MCP with links to the evidence that is available currently.
– 8 Questions About Modified Citrus Pectin https://www.healthline.com/health/8-questions-about-mcp

@cerwin also mentioned Chelation Therapy. Here's some further reading.
– What Does Chelation Therapy Treat? https://www.healthline.com/health/chelation-therapy

Cerwin, I'm happy that you and your doctors have found therapies that help you manage fibromyalgia and enable you to continue with anastrozole with fewer and less severe side effects.

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@colleenyoung

There are ongoing studies looking at the promise of Modified Citrus Pectin in reducing metastatic cancer. Most studies are still in the laboratory (in vitro) and animal (in vivo) stages. It is too early to declare MCP as a sure fire method to prevent the spread of cancer cells. But it offers hope and studies continue to pursue this line of important investigation.

The link @windyshores provided above also links to further early studies. Here's some plain language information about MCP with links to the evidence that is available currently.
– 8 Questions About Modified Citrus Pectin https://www.healthline.com/health/8-questions-about-mcp

@cerwin also mentioned Chelation Therapy. Here's some further reading.
– What Does Chelation Therapy Treat? https://www.healthline.com/health/chelation-therapy

Cerwin, I'm happy that you and your doctors have found therapies that help you manage fibromyalgia and enable you to continue with anastrozole with fewer and less severe side effects.

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Thank you for jumping in and giving us those links.

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The study shared by Windyshores is from 2020. If anybody finds a more updated clinical trial, please share.

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