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Topic: Anastrozole side effects- does exercise help?

Forum: Managing Side Effects of Breast Cancer and Its Treatment —

This is a place to discuss concerns, tips and strategies for all types of side effects from all types of medications and treatments, (chemo/rads/hormonal/targeted/pain meds/etc.

Posted on: Dec 1, 2019 08:31PM

Sobes wrote:

I'm almost 65 and I have been on Anastrozole for 2 years and it seems every few months there is a new side effect. The hot flashes are manageable but the joint pain is affecting my quality of life, including my job. I work from home on a computer for a large company . I have now developed trigger thumb and increased numbness in my fingertips.

I read that exercise is helpful and my Oncologist has spoken to me about the importance to exercise, especially since I already have Osteoporosis. But I truly am so tired at the end of my work day, I can't get my butt to leave my apartment to even walk on the the treadmill.

Does anyone have any suggestions to get me moving or has anyone had similar symptoms? Has anyone switched from Anastrozole to a different medication with less side effects?

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Dec 3, 2019 12:09AM - edited Dec 3, 2019 12:19AM by powerthruit

Exact symptoms. Exercise is a lifesaver. Honestly, you won’t regret it if you can muster up the will to walk on the treadmill for 15 minutes, or just down the block and back. The number of times you do it, is more important than how long you exercise/walk. But heck, whatever you can do, start there! It doesn’t have to be a huge thing.I went the first year on Anastrozole with very little exercise. I was sooooo exhausted on top of the sore feet, joints... One day, I just said to myself, “I am going to break in half if I don’t move my body more.” The difference was night and day for me

Dx 5/2015, LCIS/IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 0/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/4/2015 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 7/6/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Dec 3, 2019 09:50AM Sobes wrote:

Thanks so much for the reply. I'll get myself to the treadmill today--I Promise!

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Dec 3, 2019 09:57AM Moderators wrote:

Sobes, we're sorry you have to be here, but we just wanted to welcome you to Breastcancer.org, and let you know that we're so glad you've found our Community!

Besides the wonderful support and info you'll get from other members here, you may want to take a look at the following article from our main site: Exercise Helps Ease Aromatase Inhibitor Side Effects.

Hope this helps!

The Mods

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Dec 3, 2019 03:10PM CBK wrote:

Hi there Sobe

I had so many difficulties adjusting to Arimidex and losing my ovaries: Still do... I exercise a ton; yoga, weight train, and cardio! Don’t get me wrong this helps a ton for mental and physical well-being, but the game changer for my hot flashes, achey and snapping joints, anxietyand sleep issues is CBD oil. It’s been amazing for me!

Hope you get some relief soon. Keep fighting! Best Wishes!!

Dx 3/26/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/11/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 7/21/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 1/25/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 2/17/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 4/9/2018 Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant Surgery 9/28/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/3/2019 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant
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Dec 3, 2019 06:14PM Olma61 wrote:

exercise is great I also have trigger thumb now and I get some relief from putting the heating pad on it in the morning and at nigh

10/30/2017 Xgeva for bone mets 5/31/2018 Taxol finished! "If one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right” - Kierkegaard Dx 8/3/2017, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Targeted Therapy 10/28/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 10/28/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 10/30/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 5/14/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 5/30/2019 External: Bone
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Dec 3, 2019 07:04PM - edited Dec 3, 2019 07:09PM by powerthruit

I take a small dose of Effexor to help with hot flashes. I wasn't taking anything for about a year and then had to do something. It works OK. They are not eliminated, but I would lose my mind if I didn't. I've decided there's a cumulative effect of hot flashes every 3-4 hours. It really starts to grate on you.

CBK, I'm intrigued about CBD oil now. How do you take it? Gummies? Hope you don't mind me asking, is this all you take? I wonder if it would be additive for me. I go for my 6 mo checkup this week. I'll talk to the doc too.

Thanks in advance.

Dx 5/2015, LCIS/IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 0/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/4/2015 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 7/6/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Dec 3, 2019 08:04PM Sobes wrote:

I can deal with the hot flashes (sometimes) but I remember when I first started they were pretty awful. Even now, I sleep with a window open in cold weather and definitely drive with either AC on or windows down.

My son had suggested CBD. I checked with my Oncologist first and tried some CBD tea - a very mild dose- and it didn't seem to help. But, I only tried it for about 1 week.

The trigger thumb is really annoying, though, because I think I'm also developing it in my other thumb. Geez!

I appreciate everyone's input! Glad we are here for each other.

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Dec 3, 2019 08:05PM Sobes wrote:

I'll try the heating pad! Do you also use NSAIDS?

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Dec 3, 2019 08:07PM Sobes wrote:

Well, I did go down to the treadmills and they were all in use. So instead, I took the stairs back up my 3rd floor apartment. It's a start.

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Dec 4, 2019 12:31AM powerthruit wrote:

Great!👏👏

Dx 5/2015, LCIS/IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 0/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 6/4/2015 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 7/6/2015 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Dec 4, 2019 12:34AM - edited Dec 4, 2019 12:34AM by Olma61

I was taking 2 baby aspirin daily, not for that purpose, but I don't take anything else. I had Motrin 800 for dental work, (stopped the aspirin) but it didn't seem to make much difference with my thumb.

10/30/2017 Xgeva for bone mets 5/31/2018 Taxol finished! "If one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right” - Kierkegaard Dx 8/3/2017, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Targeted Therapy 10/28/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 10/28/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 10/30/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel) Hormonal Therapy 5/14/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 5/30/2019 External: Bone
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Dec 4, 2019 09:46AM Ingerp wrote:

Sobes be gentle to yourself. Start small—one thing I did years ago was tell myself I could take any day off exercise I wanted to but could not take off two days in a row. It was also helpful to me to join a gym. I’m too cheap to pay the money and not utilize it. Besides helping with SEs, you know exercise is the best thing you can do to help prevent recurrence, right?

Dx 3/11/2016, DCIS, Left, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 3/22/2016 Lumpectomy Surgery 4/19/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/17/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 3/2/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 3/12/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Targeted Therapy 5/17/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 5/17/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 8/19/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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Dec 4, 2019 10:04PM Sobes wrote:

Thanks so much Ingerp. That's a great motivational tool. I know in my brain all of the benefits of regular exercise, but I can't understand why I can't just get started.

To be fair, this week at work has been horrible and I've worked 11-12 hr each day. I actually tried to go down to use the treadmill on Monday and they were all taken. I took the stairs back to my apartment for some exercise.

Tomorrow is another try!

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Dec 4, 2019 10:08PM Sobes wrote:

Thanks. I'm thinking of purchasing a splint to wear at night to see if that helps. Have you tried that? Have you had trigger thumb or other fingers with this issue?

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Dec 6, 2019 09:23AM claireinaz wrote:

I finally had to switch from Arimidex to Aromasin. I had so many joint (including trigger finger/thumb) and mood problems, both causing pain to myself (and others, ha ha) that I told my MO I'd have to stop the drug entirely. It was that bad. Other than a sore hip joint from time to time (which I blame Aromasin for), I feel much better.

9/29/11 ILC, 2 c. stage II grade 1, ER/PR+ HER2-, 6/11 nodes, lumpectomy, DDAC x 4, Taxol x 12, 33 rads, Tamoxifen/arimidex/aromasin, BMX/immed recon 7/3/13 "In the midst of winter, I found in me an invincible summer.” Albert Camus
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Dec 6, 2019 11:58AM Sobes wrote:

Thanks Claire! I will discuss this with my Oncologist.

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