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?

@mollymiller

Thank you, JC ~ I know that the things you have mentioned are all amazingly helpful, particularly the fact that you are active, physically and socially. I am boxed into a corner right now…About 16 months after initial diagnosis I am suffering depression that puts an end to my desire to do anything physically and socially ~ I have been taking Arimidex for 10 months and feel the effects more now than I did in the beginning. I appreciate your words of support!

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Sorry to hear you're down but I can relate. I'm 2.5 years in and I still worry they will find it again and that it may be worse or……I have an active imagination. I think it's common and normal to worry about cancer. It can seem so random. I had so much trouble with the Arimidex and Letrozole that I had to stop them all early on. I think the biggest side effect I had was the feeling that a big, gray veil had been draped over me. I felt very depressed (not to mention the joint pain and other more serious side effects I experienced). The whole experience is very exhausting, radiation makes you tired……it's a tough journey. My husband is going through his own cancer journey right now and it's even harder for me. I try to take care of myself and I try to think one day at a time if I can. I read a saying the other day that I'm hoping to incorporate into my daily life….."Instead of waiting for the storm to clear, learn to dance in the rain". Find those little things in each day that give you joy and continue to hope for a better tomorrow. Keep reaching out. The people in these support groups and the moderators have saved me many times over the past years.

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@mollymiller

Thank you, JC ~ I know that the things you have mentioned are all amazingly helpful, particularly the fact that you are active, physically and socially. I am boxed into a corner right now…About 16 months after initial diagnosis I am suffering depression that puts an end to my desire to do anything physically and socially ~ I have been taking Arimidex for 10 months and feel the effects more now than I did in the beginning. I appreciate your words of support!

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A soothing message from you as I head to bed on this rainy Pennsylvania evening! I try to put into use the thoughts of "living for the moment" and I am able to do that at times. However, I have felt just achey and miserable for the last several days ~ I never know how my day will be ~ I am looking forward to a better day tomorrow and I thank you for making me try a bit harder ~ I'll bet I can beat you in the "Active Imagination" category~ I wish you some peaceful thoughts and restful sleep tonight. Prayers also to your husband ~

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You're on ……we will post our best 'active imagination' thoughts and perhaps we'll see how unrealistic they really are? Thank you for your kind thoughts. I hope you'll wake to a pain free, stress free day tomorrow!

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Some days you just don't feel like singing, then just hum, its OK

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@cindylb

You're on ……we will post our best 'active imagination' thoughts and perhaps we'll see how unrealistic they really are? Thank you for your kind thoughts. I hope you'll wake to a pain free, stress free day tomorrow!

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OK, so here's my first stab at 'winning the competition'….ha ha. I have a weird rash on my torso and arms and have for a little over a year. It comes and goes, but never really resolves. It could be many things…..a strange reaction to the stress I'm under, a change in my body chemistry that causes me to, well, have a rash, an allergy to something or just getting old lady skin. There is a possibility that it's cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma. My Oncologist hasn't ruled out the worst possible scenario and I've visited 3 dermatologists who all have various ideas but instead of visiting the dermatologist my Oncologists recommended and finding out for sure, I'm worry and wait for the worst…….a second cancer (on top of breast cancer). Actually, I spent so much time online looking at skin diseases I could probably be a dermatologist. I had a bilateral mastectomy and it's all across the scar line and only in places where we all have a lot of lymph nodes, so naturally……….I'm planning for the worst (if only I were actually doing something about it). I really feel like this is pretty creative worrying, but I'll wait for your reply and see who wins this first round. Hope you're having a good day today. Relax as much as you can and enjoy each good moment.

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@leemiller

I’ve been taking anastrozole for almost a year, and am cautiously thinking the side effects have been minimal. My main concern is its contribution to my osteoporosis. I have been seeing an OT to learn how to increase bone mass.

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@rosiemolano how are you doing? Are you still taking anastrozole or did your doctor suggest switching to a different aromatase inhibitor?

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@cindylb

You're on ……we will post our best 'active imagination' thoughts and perhaps we'll see how unrealistic they really are? Thank you for your kind thoughts. I hope you'll wake to a pain free, stress free day tomorrow!

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You've met your match. I too have a second possible cancer lurking in the back of my mind. I have decided that it is a result of a conspiracy theory so evil that your rash will go away as soon as you hear my story. I am due for a colonoscopy this year. I kew it, but ignored it. Lo and behold, a letter arrives from the colonoscopy doctor…Time for your 10 year colonoscopy! I ignored it. I can see getting a notice for a mammogram or a dental cleaning, but a TEN YEAR test? SO, I mentioned the letter to my internist who said, "Oh yes! I'll call colonoscopy doc and set up an appointment!" I said, "No." I asked about the ColonGuard at Home test and the internist had one shipped to me. I ignored….'Put it in the back of my linen closet. About a month later I received a letter from ColonGuard offering me a $35.00 American Express Card if I would complete the test and send it in. Well, why not? My colon seems fine and all the colons that came before mine on both sides of the family were fine. For $35 I will degrade and frustrate myself. I sent it in and forgot about it, waiting for my "prize". No prize yet but my internist called and said that my test was positive. As you, I worship at the alter of the internet so I determined that the odds were this test was a false positive and in fact the results were planned long before my creepy box of fecal matter was even in the mail. Internist, colonoscopy doc and ColonGuard all in cahoots. It couldn't be clearer to me….Except that I too feel that I have a second cancer. I wake up with the thought daily, then move onto checking my axillary node areas (there are hardly any left) and then come downstairs and dose up on coffee…..Probably bad for both breast and colon cancer. YES! I am planning for the worst and not doing anything about it. Here is what will melt your rash into oblivion. Last week I received my monthly Medicare statement. The ColonGuard (which tests DNA) was billed at $4,000. Medicare and my supplement paid a total of $0.00. However, I was not held responsible for the $4,000 either. So, what's the deal? Who wins? I suppose the internist gets a fruit basket from my colonoscopy doctor at Christmas and the colonoscopy doc gets to bill Medicare for doing a questionable colonoscopy on me. If I ever get the colonoscopy and if it is positive, I won't be undergoing treatment for it. The breast cancer treatments were/are all I can handle. OK, do you surrender? Or do you have a worse example of fertile imagination syndrome? I already have an example of worry beyond belief from when I was 8 years old….60 years ago and it's still with me! You'll have to wait and see!

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@cindylb

You're on ……we will post our best 'active imagination' thoughts and perhaps we'll see how unrealistic they really are? Thank you for your kind thoughts. I hope you'll wake to a pain free, stress free day tomorrow!

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P.S. ~ I hope our humorous banter doesn't get us tossed off the Mayo Clinic site! One more thing to think about…A knock on the door ~ Men wearing white coats and stethoscopes….."May we take a listen to your brain, please?" SEE? I can't help it!

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@cindylb

You're on ……we will post our best 'active imagination' thoughts and perhaps we'll see how unrealistic they really are? Thank you for your kind thoughts. I hope you'll wake to a pain free, stress free day tomorrow!

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OK, so I'm giving you this first round as a win! (ha ha). I have been told many times to get my colonoscopy (I just turned 60) by my oncologist. I've done those stool sample tests each year (until this year, explanation later) and they have come back negative BUT I have a history of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and I sometimes have blood in my stool, especially when I was on Arimidex for the breast cancer. This conversation will come up in my next check up as my oncologist has said to me that there is a connection between breast and colon cancer. Also, have a friend whose husband ignored his colonoscopy a little too long and is now going through treatment for colon cancer. Here's the rub on all of this……It's great to catch these things early and have a reasonable chance of fixing them but also if you look long enough you will find things…..it's inevitable. It's a toss up sometimes. Keep doing tests and getting medical intervention and stressing yourself out or accepting the inevitable, we're all going to get something or a couple somethings. I don't think I've given you any comfort here have I? Sorry about that.

Explanation of lack of colonoscopy above and my new submission is as follows – I was let go from my full time job with benefits back in September 2017 because…………my employer said it was too expensive to keep me on benefits. Smaller employer (part of a much larger, well know non profit organization, known for their good works and kindness). They offered me a part time, hourly job, with no benefits. The impetus I believe was that they had just changed insurance plans and companies to reduce their overall cost for all employees. I chose not to stay with a part time, hourly job and no benefits (kind of need those for breast cancer) and one other employee was made the same offer and stayed. The other employee….yup, has just completed breast cancer treatment. We were both 'demoted' to no benefits because we had breast cancer.(Yes, it's illegal). Now I have Cobra and unaffordable benefits, so I simply don't go to the doctor anymore, which I know is scary and which is my new 'anxiety'. A simple check up with my doctor for the breast cancer is around $1,000 (high deductible o $6,000). My doctor is working with me but the prices of any real follow up are out of reach for me. I have been looking for work with benefits and working part time and odd jobs in the meantime but now my husband has gone through 3 months of testing for cancer which might be lung or????? They haven't quite figured it out, thousands of dollars later. I'm hoping that stress isn't what causes cancer because I'm a goner! Your turn and I hope you're having a good day today…anxiety aside.

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Hi, Cindy B~I received your response but it stopped abruptly, in the middle of a sentence, so I am assuming something urgent happened. Or maybe we are getting banned…Or something else not good. While I was sitting here the colonoscopy doctor's office called and left a message for me to call and schedule an appointment. Second call. Still not sure, but I did not know there was a connection between breast and colon cancer. That will hang over me the rest of the day. SO, I await the 2nd part of your post. Molly

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I was diagnosed in 2016. I had lumpectomy and radiation. I have taken three different anastrolzole meds. Decided on Letrozole. It had the least side affects for me. Just a sore ankle. Feels like I sprained it. It come off and on. I am due for a bone scan (every 2 years) so I’ll see where I am at. I had a baseline initially after I started drug. Take care ladies. We’ll beat!

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Hi. My name is Silvia from Uruguay. I have Been taking anastrozole since 2012. I received Also trastazumab. 18shots and also chemo. The problems associated with anastrozole Must be related with aging. But I cant have a negative control. Pain in joints (knees) but It could be relieved with gym. Running in my case. Hot flushes, problems yo fall to sleep and gaining weight. But what could happened without pills? I dont know

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