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All TopicsForum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During and After → Topic: Arimidex for 10 years (or Aromasin, Femara)

Topic: Arimidex for 10 years (or Aromasin, Femara)

Forum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During and After — Risks and benefits, side effects, and costs of anti-estrogen medications.

Posted on: Sep 13, 2007 07:45AM, edited Sep 13, 2007 07:45AM by Carmelle

Carmelle wrote:

My onc visit was different this time. i am at 4 years on arimidex as first line hormone. Was told initially only 5 years.

This time he shared that they have found that women who continue their hormone therapy past 5 years to 10 years have shown significant survival. Clinical trials are being slated for women on any AI such as Arimidex, femara or Aromasin to continue therapy till ten years.. So as of next year they are opening up trials to all women on AI's to stay on past the five years., up to 10.

I was dignosed at 38 and arimidex was my first line and it's working now for four years with stage 3A cancer so the thought of ten years coverage makes me very happy.

Michelle

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Sep 13, 2007 09:34AM survivor98 wrote:

Michelle, I've been trying to send a reply to your pm with no luck. Are you accepting private messages?

It's exciting to see more oncologists embracing the concept that the AIs may prove to be beneficial for an indefinite period of time for some women. My onc felt that they would become the 'drug of choice' for postmenopausal women when I first started taking it. With more and more women taking them, the drug companies are getting feedback regarding side effects that weren't initially as apparent. We should remember these new drugs started out as treatments for Stage IV disease. For many of those folks, joint pain might not have seemed as debilitating as it is for someone who is taking the drugs for lower stages.

I would have liked being part of a trial, but there was nothing available at the time. Most of them opened for enrollment 6-12 months after I started Arimidex.

In any case, if given the option, I'm leaning toward staying on it beyond my 10 year mark. My chance or recurrence was very high and I'm not willing to take that chance. Right now, I'm well into my 9th year, so that decision isn't all that far off...

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Sep 13, 2007 09:53AM Carmelle wrote:

me too...i'm a big believer in our own types of BC risk vs benefit.

not one treatment option for all.

my onc had the biggest smile when he told me.

i'm glad you are doing so well!!

Michelle

p.s. I'll check my pms...glad you saw this as i know i had pm'd you regarding earlier.

Yesterday is History... Tomorrow is Mystery...Today is a gift.

Dx 3/7/2003, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIa, Grade 2, 5/15 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 17, 2007 09:31AM, edited Mar 19, 2008 01:14PM by TenderIsOurMight

Carmelle,

I hope to stay on an AI of some sort after my 5 years of Arimidex are up next Spring and said so at my oncologist visit 2 weeks ago. I thought perhaps continuing on Arimidex, of moving to Letrezole, and mentioned this to my oncologist (whose very aggressive in general) and to my amazement he countered with, well perhaps Aromasin.

Now I have to look into why he might have suggested that AI instead. I know its' a steroid AI, and that's how it is different from Arimidex and Letrozole, which are non-steroidal in action. But now I'm wondering why he's thinking that way.....Argggh, more to ponder!

Thanks for posting about continuing on continuing on...I've just resolved to live with the SE's, but I respectfully understand many choose otherwise.

Tender

It cannot be emphasized too strongly that treatment of each patient is a highly individualized matter. (FDA-approved labeling for warfarin (Coumadin) NDA 9-218/5-105)

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Sep 17, 2007 02:06PM Carmelle wrote:

Sheri,

I'm not comfortable either! so good news to me.

Tender,

I wonder if maybe it's the bone issues? Aromasin is being studied in regards to protective properties vs Arimidex and femara. I do worry about bones.Not as much as Cancer but it is a concern.

My turn is up Jan 08 to see what the news is then. Who knows how much more data will be in or what new changes.

I was told by ONC when i started AI that 5 years was the only treatment to be available in the forseeable future.

Michelle

Yesterday is History... Tomorrow is Mystery...Today is a gift.

Dx 3/7/2003, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIa, Grade 2, 5/15 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 19, 2007 12:10AM Lindaip wrote:

My oncologist took me off of Arimidex at 5 years (I was Stage IIIB because of skin involvement). I hope it wasn't too soon.
Linda
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Sep 21, 2007 07:56PM Judy_Mc wrote:

I'm coming up on my 5 years next March. I have been on Arimidex and it makes me really nervous to lose my safety net.I would love to find something that would benefit my bones as I have had about a 10% bone loss since starting on Arimidex. I'm lucky as I had good bone density to start with but if I stayed on Arimidex for 5 more years and my bone loss continued at the same rate I could really have a problem.

Having to choose between breaking bones or cancer really stinks.

Please tell me more about AI's that do not cause bone loss.That is very new info to me.

Thanks

Dx 3/6/2003, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 23, 2008 09:10PM Somerset wrote:

I have been on Arimidex for 9 months.  I am having extreme joint pain.  Celebrex helped, but my family doctor took me off of it because he said the long term effects are damaging to the heart.  I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in January and nonhodgkins lymphoma in March.  The nh  is low grade.  I had 2 surgeries, 38 treatments of radiation.  I am discouraged.

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Jan 23, 2008 09:23PM cp418 wrote:

Somerset - Don't be discouraged.  The 2 diseases have some similarities related to the lymphatic system so unfortunately it happens in patients who have had one disease or the other. I wanted to tell you my friend was dx with NH at age 27 and she is now 46 - - - went through chemo back in early 1990's. Best wishes Joann

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Jan 23, 2008 09:30PM, edited Mar 19, 2008 12:38PM by TenderIsOurMight


Welcome Sumerset! Joann makes great points, so much out there now adays. But two dx so shortly after one another truly throws you back some. So come to post here, there's even a thread on second or third cancers just for women such as yourself.

If the AI's don't work out due to probems, there's always Tamoxifen.

This forum is filled with supportive people, so come join us and sit awhile.

All the best to you,
Tender

It cannot be emphasized too strongly that treatment of each patient is a highly individualized matter. (FDA-approved labeling for warfarin (Coumadin) NDA 9-218/5-105)

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Jan 24, 2008 08:21AM WhiteRockGirl wrote:

Carmelle

I was also told by my onc when I first started Aromasin 20 monthat ago that the 5 year total therapy was the only option available. Now he does tell me that is changing and he has already offered 5 more years on Aromasin, after my initial 5 year total with tamoxifen. I am reading all I can about this situaton. I was diagnosed with late stage 1 bc. I worry about the known and unknown long term SE's on AI's. There are several threads on this forum about this very situation. The women on these boards are well informed!