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ADH and LCIS treatment recommended is anastrozole for 5 years

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jmwalker5960
jmwalker5960 Member Posts: 2
edited September 2023 in Benign Breast Conditions

Hormonal Therapy recommended for LCIS and ADH by an oncologist. Medicine they are asking me to take is Anastrozole and I am looking for feedback from the community on the side effects experienced from this drug. It is not actually FDA approved for this prophylactic treatment of post menopausal women and these types of pre risk cells. So the risk vs. the side effects are weighing heavy on me as I am 63 and they want me on it for five years. Anyone out there in the same situation? I know side effects vary by individual, but looking for anyone that may have been on this drug and has first hand experience.

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  • lea7777
    lea7777 Member Posts: 50
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    I see no one has responded. There is a forum specifically for hormonal therapy and maybe you have found that and posed your question there. I am in your situation and here are my suggestions. You can try Anastrozole and see about the side effects. If none or minimal, then great. If side effects are too debilitating, then you can try another aromatase inhibitor such as Exemestane (Aromasin) or Letrozole (Femara). None of these aromatase inhibitors are FDA approved as prophylactic treatments, as you state, but they are very, very commonly prescribed for women at high risk of breast cancer with studies to show their effectiveness in reducing invasive breast cancer. There also are Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERM)s, Tamoxifen or Raloxifene/Evista—not quite as effective as aromatase inhibitors but may present fewer side effects and they are FDA approved. I tried all of the above and was unable to tolerate any, even the new low dose 5 mg Tamoxifen, except for Raloxifene. That one is just fine for me. Your reaction to the various drugs may be completely different, but I'll share that it took me several tries, lasting about 8 months. Most women in our situation do not take any drugs. There is an effort to increase the uptake but the vast majority don't take any drug. Check out this 2020 study on the low uptake rates around 5%. Other studies show 25% to 30%, but still low.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7276203/

    All these drugs do reduce the risk of breast cancer in high risk individuals, but there is not yet proof of lower mortality with these drugs. It may be that they do not prevent the most deadly cancers. That's being studied.

    https://www.thelancet.com/article/S1470-2045(21)00758-0/fulltext

    https://www.onclive.com/view/dixon-questions-value-of-chemoprevention-with-tamoxifen

    So if you cannot or chose not to do the drugs, you are in the company of the majority and there is not yet proof that these drugs prolong life. They do reduce the risk of breast cancer.

    Raloxifene can be taken longer than 5 years and I plan to keep taking it, as it also helps with bone loss. Combatting osteoporosis seems to be the main/original purpose of the drug. Good luck to you.