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When to stop anastrozole


I'm coming up on 5 years of anastrozole... After lumpectomy and radiation for stage 1 grade 1 idc. My oncologist knows Im always anxious, but he isn't really definitive on whether or not I should stop the AI. He said I should probably stop it but knowing how anxious I am maybe stay on it for another year or so... I'm a little nervous that this issue isn't more definitive... Anyone else not know which way to go?.. I would love to just be done with it...



  • ratherbesailing
    ratherbesailing Member Posts: 129

    You might ask your oncologist whether you could get the Breast Cancer Index (BCI) test. Much like the Oncotype test, it uses a sample of your original tumor tissue. There are two things it reports back on: what your chance is of distant recurrence in years 5-10 post-diagnosis. And, more to your question, it gives a straight Yes/No answer to whether continuing an AI past five years would be of benefit.

    Many studies have shown BCI to be a good indicator on whether or not to continue AIs past five years. The test is expensive but many insurers (including Medicare) cover it, and the company will work with those who aren't covered.

    And here's a link to an article right here on

  • horse2310
    horse2310 Member Posts: 18

    thank you!

    Im assuming they will still have my original tumor sample..?

  • elainetherese
    elainetherese Member Posts: 1,632

    Yep, they should. I had the BCI test done but got stupid results. It said that I had a high risk of recurrence and that I would not benefit from additional hormonal therapy. My oncologist said that the high risk finding was probably due to the fact that my cancer was HER2+. In any case, I found the BCI results to be less helpful than others might.

  • horse2310
    horse2310 Member Posts: 18

    I just met with the onco, and he told me that they dont really do the BCI…he said I should stop when I reach 5 years which is soon……BUT, every study i read says that extending aromatase inhibitor can be beneficial…?

    I dont have side affects from the anastrzole, so im thinking about doing 6 years…my primary and GYN told me maybe to stay on it…

    has anyone else (low risk) stayed on a little longer?

    its very confusing

  • ctmbsikia
    ctmbsikia Member Posts: 759
    edited February 8

    You can also try this:

    My MO doesn't do the BCI test, so when I plugged my stats into this calculator I came up high risk and MO was agreeable to continue the AI. I'm shooting for 7 years.

    Best wishes to you.

  • horse2310
    horse2310 Member Posts: 18

    thank you for that…all the studies seem to say that longer is better…

    best wishes to you

  • pilatesperson
    pilatesperson Member Posts: 1

    I’m in Year 7 of anastrzole with hardly any side effects. My dexascans hsve been normal but I feel like I’ve been lucky. My oncologist leaves it up to me. He seems to indicate that longer doesn’t make a difference. I’m nervous to go off but I don’t want to risk bone loss. This is my second bout of BC, both early stage. Iam HER2 positive. I think I’m going to just do it.

  • homemom
    homemom Member Posts: 830

    I'm in my 10th year. I used the CTSS calculator and it came up high for my 2cm tumor. So I'm glad I'm still on it until December 20th. I have osteopenia in my lower back so I go to the gym, work on the elliptical and the back machine for the lower back, plus I get the prolia shot every 6 months. I just started doing that about 3 months ago, but I have to keep it up until NEXT summer when I an get another Dexa scan.

    I haven't had bad side effects on Arimidex except for a little hair thinning, harder to lose weight if I gain any and dryness down "there". So I'll be happy to go off of it in December.

  • sizzle17
    sizzle17 Member Posts: 3

    I'm Still taking it ..just a few months after the five years..kind of scared to stop it..I will have my appt with oncologist soon so I will ask him..maybe I will just stay in on it for 6 years so I feel like it got a little more.. funny thing is my primary and my gynecologist both suggested staying on it for a bit more...