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?

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@karenrbach

I am a 14 year breast cancer survivor. My Oncologist had me on arimidex (or generic) 13 years. He retired and my new oncologist discontinued use of this drug last year. She said protocol was 10 years. I am fine and never really had any side effects from this drug. I have had a bone density test every two years to make sure all is well. I consider myself fortunate I never had any of the side effects being described.

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You are a fortunate woman on several levels!

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@karenrbach

I am a 14 year breast cancer survivor. My Oncologist had me on arimidex (or generic) 13 years. He retired and my new oncologist discontinued use of this drug last year. She said protocol was 10 years. I am fine and never really had any side effects from this drug. I have had a bone density test every two years to make sure all is well. I consider myself fortunate I never had any of the side effects being described.

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Hi Karen. Protocol from what I know is 5 or perhaps 10 years on Arimidex or other AIs. 2 years in. Able to live with diff affects. Had my bone density test on Monday. We will see.

Glad you are doing well.

My second time around. Tamoxifen the first time. Put me on menopause within months at the age of 48.

I’m good.

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@mollymiller

Best wishes, fellow Arimidex friend! I find that the Arimidex symptoms vary. Some days are pretty pain-free. I'll stay with it for the whole regimen with the hopes of no reoccurrence and wish the same for you!

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In reply to @guntherbear "@mollymiller" + (show)

I am on Aromasin. I have tried Tamixifen and Arimidex and could not handle the memory loss with them. I have joint ache with aromasin and have gained 30 lbs. But I found out that working out 5 days a week for 20 minutes has really helped with the joint ache and I also lost some weight. I had a double mastectomy and I am half way thru my 5 years. Oh and I average 32 hot flashes a day 😔. But I feel the side affects are way better than cancer recurrence 😊@mollymiller

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@mjpayan

Hi Karen. Protocol from what I know is 5 or perhaps 10 years on Arimidex or other AIs. 2 years in. Able to live with diff affects. Had my bone density test on Monday. We will see.

Glad you are doing well.

My second time around. Tamoxifen the first time. Put me on menopause within months at the age of 48.

I’m good.

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I’m glad you’re doing well and I wish you continued good health!

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@karenrbach

I am a 14 year breast cancer survivor. My Oncologist had me on arimidex (or generic) 13 years. He retired and my new oncologist discontinued use of this drug last year. She said protocol was 10 years. I am fine and never really had any side effects from this drug. I have had a bone density test every two years to make sure all is well. I consider myself fortunate I never had any of the side effects being described.

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Hi @karenrbach, As a 14 year breast cancer survivor, your experience and knowledge will be welcome on Connect. May I ask what type of breast cancer you had and which treatments besides Arimidex?

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Yes, of course! For background, I had a hysterectomy at age 45 and my Dr. put me on Premarin to avoid hot flashes, etc. I felt wonderful and took this for 15 years. I had regular mammograms each December and at age 60, my cancer was discovered. I had estrogen positive intraductal cancer stage 2 that had broken through the wall in one year. I had a lumpectomy, chemo therapy, and radiation. It was a rough time but I had huge support from family and friends. Arimidex was prescribed as I said, and took that for 13 years. I think all survivors think about their journey every day and I am so thankful I had the best doctors and treatment. I really had no side effects from the arimidex and am so thankful I am a very healthy 75 year old. I try to share my journey, if asked, if this will help another person.

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@karenrbach

Yes, of course! For background, I had a hysterectomy at age 45 and my Dr. put me on Premarin to avoid hot flashes, etc. I felt wonderful and took this for 15 years. I had regular mammograms each December and at age 60, my cancer was discovered. I had estrogen positive intraductal cancer stage 2 that had broken through the wall in one year. I had a lumpectomy, chemo therapy, and radiation. It was a rough time but I had huge support from family and friends. Arimidex was prescribed as I said, and took that for 13 years. I think all survivors think about their journey every day and I am so thankful I had the best doctors and treatment. I really had no side effects from the arimidex and am so thankful I am a very healthy 75 year old. I try to share my journey, if asked, if this will help another person.

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It helps a lot! Thank you

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After three months, I began to experience terrible joint pain and numbness in my fingers, hands & wrists, and fatigue set in — my greatest challenges. No hair loss.
Wishing you good health!

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@elizm

to @gwinter and @cindylb — My path report for BC was Stage 1, ER positive, HER2+++; ovaries were removed about 10 years ago.

Not to complicate your lives, but here are a few notes from my experience. European oncologists test hormones all the time. It is not standard for American oncologists. I asked mine why that was and was told that each test only gives a reading for that point in time, and that the amount of circulating hormones changes frequently. I suppose that makes sense… I'd still like to be tested and he's not going to it.

Another note: check each of your meds and supplements as to their interaction with hormones. In my case, I was taking a diuretic called spironolactone; it decreases circulating estrogens and androgens. As soon as I started on the anastrozole (I have chosen to take only half a dose/day), I incurred very sore cysts in my breasts and on my ribs. When I switched diuretics, the soreness and cysts disappeared. The oncologist was clueless. Thankfully, I have a GP who works with me. I also take 1,200-2,000 IU of mycillized D3 each day for bone health and learned that it, too, decreases circulating estrogens. There are a number of factors affecting our hormones (and quality of life), and we each must root those out and make them part of the conversation with our oncologists. HUGS!

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Elizm, thank you for your post! I have been rereading everbodys posts and not sure if I am finding answers or coming up with more questions.
I was diagnosed with stage 1A borderline stage 0 breast cancer. Marginal tissue clear and only 2 lymph nodes out and they also were clear. 20 radiation treatments and was to start arimidex…did once terrible side effects….did again a month later worse side effects plus blood pressure went up! Trying to decide whether to try again. Hysterectomy coming in February…this is so hard to have question everything or email or call doctor. He seems to not believe me. I asked to have hormone level tests and he said absolutely no. Then I read in my paperwork I have only3% of recurrence….this is really a quandary

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