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Navigating medications used for hormone positive breast cancer


I am struggling with taking these medications. Femara was the first one I tried and it was a no go. I was excessively tired all the time. After 3 months I switched to aromasin, which was a little better. But after over a year in this, I have bothersome side effects like tiredness, weakness, joint and back pain, constipation (even though I eat fairly well and drink lots of water). I am feeling a little down about these medications. I think I’m going to switch and try tamoxifen. although I know it has a long list of side effects also. I know I am lucky to have not had to do chemo or mastectomy so I I’m thankful for this, but I just don’t like how these medicines are affecting me. Sometimes I feel like I should stop taking them and take my chances with a healthier body.

How are others handling these meds? What are your thought processes?


  • waves2stars
    waves2stars Member Posts: 141

    Have you checked into palliative care at your oncology clinic, or survivorship programs? There are some options that could help with some of the side effects. At MD Anderson’s Integrative Medicine program, they offer suggestions outside typical pharmaceuticals, but only things that have been clinically proven to help, like acupuncture, yoga, physical therapists and dietary advice. Apparently they’ve had great success with relieving joint pain with acupuncture. Perhaps a clinic near you had a similar program. Alternatively, why not give tamoxifen a try? Everyone seems to have a different side effect profile, but it hasn’t been too awful for me, mainly lower mood, fatigue and geriourinary issues. I hope you’re able to find a tolerable solution!

  • saleen19
    saleen19 Member Posts: 14

    I have declined all AIs. For myself, I consider them riskier than a recurrence. Suppressing estrogen leads to a whole host of physical problems. I am at peace with my decision. One integrative medicine doctor suggested dosing at 3 times per week rather than daily. He said it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach. For me, it’s still a firm no, but every has to make their own decisions.