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Topic: ARIMIDEX AND DIGESTIVE ISSUES

Forum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During, and After —

This is a safe place to share your experiences of others considering or on hormonal treatment.

Posted on: Nov 30, 2009 10:52AM - edited Nov 30, 2009 10:54AM by

Deleted Member wrote:

Just wondering if any of you on Arimidex or have finished....... do you have digestive issues? I have seen where some had their gallbladders removed after Arimidex or during.

I had nausea and sore throat all during my 5 years, besides the joint problem. I will always have the joint problems, I think because the Arthritis is so much worse..... but I thought the digestive issues would have let up by now, and I still have that recurring sore throat that I had for 5 years. It is not severe -- just always there and very annoying!

I've started drinking decaf any thing, no chocolate, and no fried foods but can't take anything for pain because the nausea/heartburn gets really bad!

I have been done with Arimidex for 6 months --- and feel better in lots of ways --- except for the digestive thing, and the sore throat.

I would like to hear from any of you that have this problem.

Thanks,

JO

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Nov 30, 2009 11:27AM candie1971 wrote:

Hi Jo, did you have radiation? I have heartburn, acid reflux and a hiatel hernia. If I watch what I eat it is not too bad. I do take Protonix before bedtime to help. My onc and gastro Dr say it is radiation damage and may never go away!!

Hugs and prayers

Good friends are like stars....you don't always see them but you know they are always there. Dx 5/26/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 30, 2009 03:42PM Welga wrote:

Hello Jo,

I have acid reflux, family thing, and I am on Nexium. I get heartburns and find that the chewy rolaids help the most. Also eating mashed potatoes with every meal helps. Acidity in things like vinager or yougurt is hard. The sore throat is from acid reflux. It's burning my teeth now and I have to have dental work done. you should see a gastro doctor and get a prescription for Nexium it sure helps.

good luck

Dx 4/4/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 30, 2009 04:20PM candie1971 wrote:

Jo, I take prescription Protonix but the generic kind.

I was having alot of acid reflux before I started taking the Protonix , especially at night. I still sleep practicallu sitting up with pillows behind me as I am afraid of food coming up while I sleep. And now with my hip..wow...u gotta see me at night..lol..what a sight. I also took Cytoxan my mouth which didn't help any. My onc told me then that coupled with radiation I probably would have problems my whole life...but I'm alive, so that's what matters. I had an endoscopy done at the same time I had a colonoscopy so they could see what was going on. Told me to have both every 3 years. 2010 is the next one.

hugs and prayers

Good friends are like stars....you don't always see them but you know they are always there. Dx 5/26/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Nov 30, 2009 05:59PM molly52 wrote:

For the past couple of arimidex years, I have been taking similiar medication.  My throat seems to be a little swollen and have trouble taking pills and sometime food.  Never a problem before bc,  I was hoping it was arimidex and would go away when I stop taking it.  Now, I am not so sure.

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Nov 30, 2009 08:00PM molly52 wrote:

Hi Jo,

Yes, I had radiation, but only 16 times.  I know that is less than most.  How many did you have?

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Nov 30, 2009 10:18PM Member_of_the_Club wrote:

To me the combo of digestive and sore throat indicates reflux.  Go to a doctor, this is very treatable.

Dx 9/30/2004, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 1, 2009 12:08PM Welga wrote:

JO,

I'am also sensitive to meds like you. So many I cannot take, like antidepressants, even Ithink the name is Miralax for constipation. Well Nexium I don't think gives me that much side effects I was already not feeling well all over before starting this). I started with Pariet but than one was not strong enough to control the reflux. 

Also you should lift the head of your bed from 6 to 8 inches (put a block or books under the legs) that seems to help. Acid reflux if not controlled can burn you oesophag.. read on it and it could lead to a serious consequences. Don't want to scare you but get it checked, I had the prescription before the gastrocopie just because of my symtoms they were sure that's what I had.

The gastroscopie is to rule out anys damage done by the reflux.

Dx 4/4/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 1, 2009 12:23PM Welga wrote:

JO,

Also like you I cannot take anti-inflmatory or cherry juice. The list is long...

Dx 4/4/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 1, 2009 01:48PM candie1971 wrote:

Jo, I do not get se's from protonix...I do see tha insomnia is one and I sometimes have that but I beleive it is from stress not the protonix. When it is time for your colonoscpy, why dont u do an endoscopy at the same time...sees alot.

Good friends are like stars....you don't always see them but you know they are always there. Dx 5/26/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 1, 2009 05:52PM bennetts1 wrote:

Jo,  I had an endoscopy last month.  I did not have reflux coming up in my throat, but did have pains in my chest after I would eat, and like you, would burp a lot.  The doctor told me I had severe acid reflux and he biopsied several places in my stomach.  I also had a hiatal  hernia.  So to answer your question, you can have acid reflux without food or fluid coming up.  I also have had radiation.  I wonder if this is all related to the radiation!

Sandy

Dx 6/20/2008, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 1, 2009 05:59PM candie1971 wrote:

Sandy, according to my onc it can very well be from radiation damage. It happens to those who take chemo drugs by mouth also.

Good friends are like stars....you don't always see them but you know they are always there. Dx 5/26/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 2, 2009 11:13AM - edited Dec 2, 2009 12:07PM by bennetts1

Jo,  There was nothing to it.  I had it done as outpatient surgery.  They put you to sleep and put a tube with a camera down your throat.  You do not have to drink anything...as a matter of fact, you cannot eat or drink after midnight!  I went home about an hour after the procedure.  If you can do the colonoscopy, you can do this.  Alot of times they will do them the same time.  When in 2010 is your colonoscopy due?  I bet if you go ahead and call your Dr. he would schedule you to have them both done at the same time.

Sandy

Dx 6/20/2008, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 2, 2009 04:04PM Welga wrote:

JO
When I was diagnosed with acid reflux my only symptoms at that time where coughing and a sore troat upon rising. I never felt any fluid coming up. Took antibiotics thinking it was a throat infection, throat and ear specialist was the one really who told me no infection just acid reflux.Nexium cured all of that at the time.
Now I should be taking two pills a day to be really well but I am only taking one in the morning, caus it may worsened bone loss.
Now after chemo, my reflux got worst, burning stomach if I don't watch what I eat a lot of small meals because of difficulty digesting foods.
Coffe is bad for reflux, good for you to stop it.
It's awfull not being able to take the medecine we need because of heartburns, specially the anti-inflamatory.
The gastroscopie that I had, they went down my stomach with a tube through my mouth. Only last
a minute or so. They gave me a relaxant, did not put me to sleep. It' not fun but worth it for peace of mind. They can take a biopsie to know if you have the h-pylori infection wich can give you heartburn.
Anyway if you are scared to get the test done, like I said before, try the Nexium and see if it helps, it's one way of finding if you have it, reflux untreated can be dangerous.
Dx 4/4/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 2, 2009 10:54PM - edited Dec 2, 2009 10:55PM by artsee

This is all VERY interesting.I never had a problem with acid reflux but started getting it this year in Feb. I would wake up in the night with food gurgling up into my throat. After that my throat and tongue burned and it stung when I talked. Now that I'm reading this post I'll bet my life it was caused by chem, radiation or both. Stress from BC can also cause reflux. My ENT put me on Nexium (not otc) and 5 month later my throat was healed. I went off of the Nexium feeling better, but yesterday I got a bad case of heartburn. Now, I'm also on Femara so maybe acid reflux is a s/e of Femara too. It's a tough call because we've all been through so much you can't pin point the exact cause. But I do know none of us will ever be the same after what our bodies have gone through. No caffeine. choco. tomatoes.marinates and raise the head of your bed 6 inches. It all helps. I actually had to increase Nexium to twice daily to hal the burning sore throat.

I only drank water for 5 month. NO alcohol either.

Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 2/6/2008 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 5/13/2008 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxotere)
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Dec 2, 2009 11:03PM nlortiz wrote:

Jo, you may have just made my day!!!  I've been on Arimidex for almost a year now, and I have had this blame sore throat most of that time, it is a funny kind of sore throat tho, hurts when I drink stuff, and the pain runs up to my ears.  My PC didn't know what the ???? I was talking about. I'm so tired of it, but looks like I have a long time to go.  The nausea, I've been having it for about 2 or three months now, didn't know what it was from either.  The joint pain is really great, isn't it?  I have gained about 50 pounds in the last year.  I cannot blame the medicine only, cause that ice cream and those cinnamon rolls surely are good, (since I quit smoking).  Anyway, I was thinking it was only the weight gain making my knees and back hurt, my darling PC said it was,  but when I saw your post I really felt like crying cause finally someone feels the same way.  Even my onc. dr. doesn't feel the arimidex  causes these side effects, but I know I didn't feel this way before. Good luck to you and please lets keep in touch.  Norma

Dx 4/4/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 3, 2009 11:18AM bennetts1 wrote:

Jo, Hate to tell you this, but ibuprofren can cause an upset belly!  We need to take it for the horrible joint pains caused by the AI's!  I am now taking Aromosin...my hands and fingers hurt so bad.  I am constantly rubbing them.  Hope you get in with your Dr. soon!  Anxious to hear what he has to say.  Keep us updated!

Sandy

Dx 6/20/2008, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 3, 2009 11:32AM Welga wrote:

Hello Jo and all the others,

Yes my doctor could not identity the reason for my sore throat, burning tongue, cough, but my ear and throat doctor did it. Also my reflux has gotten worst in the past two years, did not think the Femara was the reason but now I know. So much fun!!!!

 If you google ''acid reflux'' you will find lots of info on what you can or cannot eat. I drink coffe in the morning (cannot wake up without it) but I eat at the same time. The only thing I can take for pain is Tylenol, the others upset my stomach. 

I think stress also adds to the problem. The other thing is do not eat 2 ou 3 hours before lying down or going to bed.

Hope Nexium does it for you, it will take a couple of month before it helps you, stick to it. 

Dx 4/4/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 3, 2009 09:07PM artsee wrote:

Jo...I hate to be the bearer of ...In about two weeks you will be able to see the start of the mucos and tightness in the chest get better. But it's true, it will take 8-12 weeks for healing. AND like I said, it takes 2 Nexium a day (80 mil) to heal the back of the throat. My ENT said after everything else is healed then it starts to heal the throat and back of tongue. This is the most sensitive part in our  system so it takes longer. The worst thing you can do is go off after a couple of weeks because you think it's not working. IT WILL and you have to give it time. ?Unfortunately it's dang expensive. How does your throat feel? Mine didn't feel like a soreness when you get a cold. It's just different. I had a lot if stinging when the back of the tongue touched the throat when speaking. ?S o I din't talk much for a long time. It;s difficult when you have clients that you have to converse with. UGH! Thank God it got better. I have a full persciption in case I have to go back on.

Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 2/6/2008 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 5/13/2008 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxotere)
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Dec 4, 2009 02:45PM Welga wrote:

Jo,

Sorry that it's costing you so much, but it's worth it because constant inflamation of your oesophageus can lead to c........so very important to try to stay on it for at least two to four months before saying it does not work. From reading, there is (dam my english) trap in the top of the stomach that prevents acid from backing up into our oesophagus and when this trap stops working properly we develop acid reflux with the consequences. Glad you got the med, sorry you might have reflux, but it's nothing compared to BC.

If you don't see improvement you could up it to two a day like said here before.

Welga

Dx 4/4/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 5, 2009 10:27PM cw89134 wrote:

JO-5,

I wanted to let you know that my husband experienced a somewhat milder form of what you're describing several months ago. He described it as a "sticking" feeling in the throat. We went to our primary doc who didn't agree with me when I said it was reflux (I had done my research). She thought it was sinus related.

We then went to an ENT specialist who gave him two very thorough exams: (1) a tube down the esophagus (numbing the area first) and (2) a sinus x-ray. Neither exam revealed any abnormality (Thank God) so the ENT suggested that he take two Nexium a day (instead of the one he had been taking) and see if that helped. He said if the double Nexium helped, it would prove it was reflux. It did help and it was reflux of unknown origin (He used a special word which I've forgotten).

Have you seen an ENT? Just a thought.

Good luck.

Carol -- 1.7 cm -- Oncotype DX: 24 -- Blog: www.caringbridge.org/visit/cw8... -- 5 day targeted radiation, Arimidex/Anastrozole since 2/09 Dx 2/23/2009, IDC, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 6, 2009 12:02AM bennetts1 wrote:

Has  anyone tried Kapidex?  My doctor gave me a prescription that I need to get filled and he said it is a wonderful drug.  It has a dual delayed release medicine.  I looked it up on my insurance, Cigna, and it is going to be $25 a month.  I was taking Prilosec, but I have not been getting the relief I need.  I was just wandering if anyone has tried this medicine, would like to hear your opinion! 

Dx 6/20/2008, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 6, 2009 11:41AM cw89134 wrote:

Bennetts1,

Please see my post to JO-5 regarding my husband's reflux condition.

The ENT gave him a five day sample of Kapidex. Of course, it's hard to tell with only a five day sample but hubby currently feels that one Kapidex is as effective as two Nexium per day.

Kapidex is not in his drug plan and it's an expensive drug. Despite this, he got our primary doc to write a script for a 90 day supply and purchased it online at drugstore.com. This way it does not go through the insurance and hence doesn't count against the infamous Medicare Part D "donut hole".

One more point regarding the cost of Nexium ... there is a generic Nexium available in Canada at this website:

http://www.planetdrugsdirect.com/

Hubby has purchased the generic Nexium, in the past, from this site. I use this site too for certain drugs. Their prices are very competive in many cases.

Hope this helps.

Carol -- 1.7 cm -- Oncotype DX: 24 -- Blog: www.caringbridge.org/visit/cw8... -- 5 day targeted radiation, Arimidex/Anastrozole since 2/09 Dx 2/23/2009, IDC, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 6, 2009 01:44PM Welga wrote:

Jo,

Yes interesting about the arimidex, I also think my reflux got worst since Femara. Maybe you had it all along, I had it a couple of years prior to being diagnosed without understanding. Not sure about the other feelings you are describing, chemo brain. Also ask your doctor about other proton pum inh. that are as effective as Nexium. I know Pariet is not as effective but there are a few of them.

About diet, everybody is different. My brother with 2 nexiums a day, does not follow any king of diet, I dont't know if it's because he runs a lot that his digestion is ok and reflux controled.

If you google ''acid reflux' you can get lots of info on the foods that you have to avoid. Some people do not avoid tomatoes, vinagar and yogurt, I have to avoid them or eat it rarely. For others greasy foods, fried food has to be avoided.  It also depends on the intensity of your problem. You have to take some foods out of your diet and then bring them back in to see if you can tolerate them. There are also some message board about acid reflux and a lot of people can answer your questions, that's where I went in the beginning. Good luck

Welga

Dx 4/4/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 6, 2009 01:49PM Welga wrote:

Jo,

About your supplements where you taking them on an emply stomach, I take them with food, maybe that's why it could have worsen't your reflux, if that is the reason. 

Dx 4/4/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 6, 2009 09:04PM artsee wrote:

I am sensitive to many drugs as well. Can't take Osteoporosis drugs because they make me sick. Another one caused my liver enzymes to be elevated. I got this rash on my back and went off of Nexium because I thought maybe that was the cause. But it didn't go away. maybe it's the Femara.Anybody have this happen from your AI?

Jo, I gargled with salt after a lot. I went on a non acidic diet and lost 27 #. Needless to say when I started feeling better I started eating again and gained most back. Wish I could of found a happy medium. I used to have this tickling cough too.

LPR is the reflux that doesn't cause heartburn but hits your throat and mouth or tongue.

Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/15/2008, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 2/6/2008 Lumpectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 5/13/2008 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxotere)
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Dec 6, 2009 09:51PM candie1971 wrote:

Hi I have read back. I have been drinking peppermint tea which has done wonders. The worst offensive foods for me are caffeine and chocolate and yogurt. If I stay away from chocolate for awhile, I feel so much better.but then I always go back to it..lol

I am on arimidex and I don;t beleive, for me, that is what is causing it. It is from the cytoxan that I took by mouth cause my onc warned me that it could cause acid reflux that I would have for the rest of my life.That cytoxan is wicked!! He also says radiation can be a cause too.

I sleep with pillow that raise my head so it doesn;t bother me at night and I have been doing this for nearly 3 years.

What is LPR.

Good friends are like stars....you don't always see them but you know they are always there. Dx 5/26/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 7, 2009 09:31AM bennetts1 wrote:

Jo...Sorry you are having a horrible day today!  So you have had no relief with the Nexium so far?  I know some people said it may take a while to take effect.  You do know stress can make all of this worst too!  Where does your chest hurt?  Are you still burping a lot?  I bet that is an accumulation of gas.  Try walking...sometimes that helps, but is hard on the legs! 

I feel for you with the back and joint pain!  Some days mine is sooooo bad!  With the weather getting colder, it seems to be getting worst.  My husband has to help me stand up and sit down at church because my knees hurt so bad!  I have gotten to where steps are nearly impossible!

 I will be thinking about you today.  Hope you get feeling better!

Sandy

Dx 6/20/2008, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 7, 2009 10:36AM candie1971 wrote:

Jo, so sorry youare experiencing these difficulties. Let me know what the Dr says.

hugs and prayers

Good friends are like stars....you don't always see them but you know they are always there. Dx 5/26/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 8, 2009 09:42AM candie1971 wrote:

Jo, perhaps the Nexium is beginning to work. sometimes meds take time to get in your system and do their thing. Have a good day

hugs and prayers

Good friends are like stars....you don't always see them but you know they are always there. Dx 5/26/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 9, 2009 03:02PM Welga wrote:

Hi Jo,

I never stopped the Nexium because in my family we have a history of acid reflux. If Nexium is to expensive like I said before you could switch for another brand that is as strong as Nexium.

I won't stop it ever because it's a condition that I'm stuck with, I hope it's not the case with you but you will see. if you stop it and your pain comes back. I'm very happy it's working for you. Yes the antiacid helps too but I would not take it at the same time, I don't think that's what you meant but just in case. 

My endoscopies never showed much, I guess my diet and the Nexium had healed me before I had the endoscopie. But even when healed this condition will come back if I stopped the Nexium.

Wishes for good results

Welga

Dx 4/4/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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