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?

@gwinter

@farmgirl1556 all well here! Thank you! All pathology reports negative. Just 4 weeks out and doing well…just slow and steady.
Make the decision with what they find! Good luck!
I am choosing to possibly take a lower dose of different AI med because of horrendous side effects and 4 young grandsons.
Don't want to be a couch potato. Meds will not define me.

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For the fatigue & join pain – my Doctors told me EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE!!! And it sure helps a lot!

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@kathyomaha55

This is how my oncologist explained it. I had a lumpectomy and 21 radiation treatments. She said surgery reduces the chances of it returning by 80%; radiation reduces the remaining 20% change by 50%, so now it's a 10% chance. The AI drug reduces that remaining 10% by another 50%. So now we're at a 95% chance it will not return. I hope I explained it correctly – but each treatment – reduces the chance. I hope to take it for a full 5 yrs at least. Only you can decide what risk to take. And I agree discuss this with your doctor. Not everyone has the side effects listed. And some are very livable – dry eyes & losing some hair. It's worth my life to me,. ALSO – if it returns, it will not necessarily be Breast cancer – it will come back in your Brain, Bones, Liver or Lungs. Keep that in Mind. If your doctor didn't tell you that – shame on them. Also keep in mind 85% of BC is now cured.

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@kathyomaha55 – great explanation, clear & concise and necessary. Thanks a million.

Liked by cmd03, kathyomaha55

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@buckimom

@kathyomaha55 – great explanation, clear & concise and necessary. Thanks a million.

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@kathyomaha55 – timing is everything! I’ve been wrestling with the decision to stop the AI. After reading your explanation I began thinking of my teenage son who fought bone cancer so bravely for 4 years and my twin sister who passed from brain cancer. Your info certainly helped make my decision to stay on the AI. Once again Thank you❤️

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@buckimom

@kathyomaha55 – timing is everything! I’ve been wrestling with the decision to stop the AI. After reading your explanation I began thinking of my teenage son who fought bone cancer so bravely for 4 years and my twin sister who passed from brain cancer. Your info certainly helped make my decision to stay on the AI. Once again Thank you❤️

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I have my anastrozole meds prescribed today and don't wish to take them, but am going to try them. In addition to my invasive breast cancer, I have an additional one "neuroendocrine" cancer for which my oncologist was quite adamantly telling me I need this and that we can play around with the different ones. Just had my PET scan and it shows no mets elsewhere, but I also need a brain MRI to be sure no mets there. So thank you for all the input ladies regarding exercise and importance of AIs combating cancer recurrence.

Liked by kathyomaha55

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Thank you.

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@trixie1313

I have my anastrozole meds prescribed today and don't wish to take them, but am going to try them. In addition to my invasive breast cancer, I have an additional one "neuroendocrine" cancer for which my oncologist was quite adamantly telling me I need this and that we can play around with the different ones. Just had my PET scan and it shows no mets elsewhere, but I also need a brain MRI to be sure no mets there. So thank you for all the input ladies regarding exercise and importance of AIs combating cancer recurrence.

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@trixie1313, thanks for sharing your story. I can only tell you what my kids tell me: keep on keepin’ on. You can win this fight!

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@kathyomaha55

This is how my oncologist explained it. I had a lumpectomy and 21 radiation treatments. She said surgery reduces the chances of it returning by 80%; radiation reduces the remaining 20% change by 50%, so now it's a 10% chance. The AI drug reduces that remaining 10% by another 50%. So now we're at a 95% chance it will not return. I hope I explained it correctly – but each treatment – reduces the chance. I hope to take it for a full 5 yrs at least. Only you can decide what risk to take. And I agree discuss this with your doctor. Not everyone has the side effects listed. And some are very livable – dry eyes & losing some hair. It's worth my life to me,. ALSO – if it returns, it will not necessarily be Breast cancer – it will come back in your Brain, Bones, Liver or Lungs. Keep that in Mind. If your doctor didn't tell you that – shame on them. Also keep in mind 85% of BC is now cured.

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@kathyomaha55
Just an addition to your post: I am told that that cumulative risk of recurrence, post-treatments, appears to depend on the original pathology report upon diagnosis (in particular, the TN). For example, women diagnosed with T1 cancer with zero positive lymph nodes had less than a 1% risk of distant recurrence (brain, bone, liver, lung, etc.) per year for 5 to 20 years years after diagnosis. This works out to be a cumulative risk of distant recurrence of 13 % 20 years after diagnosis.

Hormone receptors, HER2 status, and which treatments were given, also influence the statistics on recurrence. (The mind reels….)

The original cancer can return to the same breast or the other one, or elsewhere. Interestingly, if it recurs in a lung, for example, it still is considered breast cancer and is treated accordingly. Amazing….

Liked by kathyomaha55

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@elizm

@kathyomaha55
Just an addition to your post: I am told that that cumulative risk of recurrence, post-treatments, appears to depend on the original pathology report upon diagnosis (in particular, the TN). For example, women diagnosed with T1 cancer with zero positive lymph nodes had less than a 1% risk of distant recurrence (brain, bone, liver, lung, etc.) per year for 5 to 20 years years after diagnosis. This works out to be a cumulative risk of distant recurrence of 13 % 20 years after diagnosis.

Hormone receptors, HER2 status, and which treatments were given, also influence the statistics on recurrence. (The mind reels….)

The original cancer can return to the same breast or the other one, or elsewhere. Interestingly, if it recurs in a lung, for example, it still is considered breast cancer and is treated accordingly. Amazing….

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My oncotype DX score was 22, so there was no Chemo needed (it would not improve my survival rate). I was ER+, PR+ and HER2 Negative. I'm not sure of the TN – I need to go review my paperwork. They did do genetic testing. I had no genes for BC but some family history. I agree Each treatment and person can be different.
I went to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, which takes a team approach to each cancer patient, The whole team decides together – what treatments will be best for each person. Team consists of Surgeon, oncologist, radiologist, Social worker, genetic specialist, and others. I was Stage 1 but grade 3. Each person needs to discuss with their doctor and have a feeling of trust with their doctor. My worst side effect so far is the joints in my hands hurt, it only started a few weeks ago. I've taken the drug for about 5 months. I'm only 63 – I want to be around a lot longer…..

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@kathyomaha55

My oncotype DX score was 22, so there was no Chemo needed (it would not improve my survival rate). I was ER+, PR+ and HER2 Negative. I'm not sure of the TN – I need to go review my paperwork. They did do genetic testing. I had no genes for BC but some family history. I agree Each treatment and person can be different.
I went to the University of Nebraska Medical Center, which takes a team approach to each cancer patient, The whole team decides together – what treatments will be best for each person. Team consists of Surgeon, oncologist, radiologist, Social worker, genetic specialist, and others. I was Stage 1 but grade 3. Each person needs to discuss with their doctor and have a feeling of trust with their doctor. My worst side effect so far is the joints in my hands hurt, it only started a few weeks ago. I've taken the drug for about 5 months. I'm only 63 – I want to be around a lot longer…..

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@kathyomaha55 did your team ever suggest hysterectomy? Your whole case is so close to me! I am almost 65 but was grade 2. Going to try aromasin or only next week!

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@gwinter

@kathyomaha55 did your team ever suggest hysterectomy? Your whole case is so close to me! I am almost 65 but was grade 2. Going to try aromasin or only next week!

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No – but I see my surgeon in May, I'll discuss it with her. My next oncologist visit is in July. I am having hot flashes, but they seem to be lessening somewhat. They don't bother me as much overnight. I was getting like 1 an hour after surgery & radiation. I've been in menopause since I was 39. I did have IDC.

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@kathyomaha55

No – but I see my surgeon in May, I'll discuss it with her. My next oncologist visit is in July. I am having hot flashes, but they seem to be lessening somewhat. They don't bother me as much overnight. I was getting like 1 an hour after surgery & radiation. I've been in menopause since I was 39. I did have IDC.

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@kathyomaha55 you r so much like me! My DX score was 19 so did 20 radiation treatments. I started perimenopause at 40 and it was horrendous! Hot flashes were awful especially while teaching not just at night.
Good luck on all your appts! I had robotic hysterectomy / oopherectomy only been 4 weeks kinda takes the air out of you for a bit.

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@grandma41

I took that drug, it made my knees and joints hurt so bad that I could not walk, I had to change drugs, I am now on Letrolzole, it has side effects too but so far nothing like the anastrozole. I lost my hair, it’s not coming back very well, my last treatment was in April 2015.

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Which drug or treatment caused your hair loss?

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I lost my hair after 2nd treatment of chemo (Adriamycin / cyclophosphamide)

Laurie

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Thanks for the response. I wondered if the hair loss was due to Femura.

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@francine6829

Which drug or treatment caused your hair loss?

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@francine6829
I began losing my hair about a week or so following my first chemo infusion (paclitaxel aka taxol). Chemo lasted about three months, after which my oncologist suggested 50mg/day of Biotin to regrow my hair, fingernails, and toenails (yes, even my nails had gone toxic and lifted).

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