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Topic: fearful of femarra

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

Risks and benefits, side effects, and costs of anti-estrogen medications. Note: Please remember that there are good experiences and bad with ALL treatments and this is a safe place to share YOUR experience, not to be influenced or influence others.

Posted on: Mar 21, 2012 12:41PM

vicky3blum wrote:

The doc has told me that I will be on femarra for 5 years, so I read about it in this forum.  Now I am terrified, even more terrified than the possibility of getting chemo[waiting on onco score]  The oncologist had me look at the femara information website and the SE's seemed so much less than what I read here.  Were the stats skewed so that the drug companies will be able to sell their drug?  My doc said that most people who posted in this forum would be people having  the worst side effects and that the people who aer doing fine would not even look at the posts here. 

Can someone allay my fears, at least a little bit?  Thanks


Dx 1/20/2012, IDC, ER+/PR-
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Mar 21, 2012 12:52PM Moderators wrote:

Hi Vicky,

Our main Breastcancer.org site gives some pretty honest information on Femara and also tips on managing its side effects.

Check out the Femara drug page and the Aromatase Inhibitor: Femara page.

Hopefully gaining more concrete knowledge about the drug will help put your fears at ease. And of course, as always, the community members here are super supportive and offer their honest and helpful opinions!

Good luck!

--The Mods

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Mar 21, 2012 12:56PM - edited Mar 21, 2012 01:57PM by Kicks

I am one who does look 'here' and also one who has no 'SE's' on Femara. I've been on it since early Feb. 2010 (well, Femara until until last Aug. when it became available in generic).

Edited to add - the last time I saw Dr T. he told me that the latest studies say that I will never be off of Femara/letrozole

Dx 8/7/2009, IBC, Stage IIIC, 19/19 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 8/24/2009 AC Surgery 10/20/2009 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 11/10/2009 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/3/2010 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Mar 21, 2012 01:24PM - edited Mar 21, 2012 01:25PM by jacee

Femara does cause pretty harsh s/e's for me. I have been on it just over 2 years. Had to reduce to 1/2 pill a day. It is much more tolerable.

My body has cancer, my spirit does not! Dx 4/27/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 3/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/5/2009 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 6/6/2009 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 7/6/2009 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 1/4/2010 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 2/12/2010 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 9/9/2010 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 10/9/2011 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Mar 21, 2012 02:02PM Racy wrote:

I started taking Femara last July. I had some joint pain on movement initially but it subsided within eight weeks. Hot flashes have also reduced consideraby. I have not had any other side effects.

Dx 2010, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 21, 2012 02:07PM Racy wrote:

You can try the drug and see how it affects you, but give your system a couple of months to adjust. You can always stop and change to another drug if you can't tolerate Femara.

I take the name brand. I have read here that some ladies have more side effects from the generic version.

Dx 2010, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 21, 2012 02:24PM sheila888 wrote:

Hi vicky.....I was on Femara for 5 years with no or little SE at the beginning.

I used to get cold sweats....then they disappeared.

We are all different. I'm wishing you the best outcome.


Sheila♥ Dx 4/8/2005, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 8/21/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/12/2015 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Dx 11/2018, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver/lungs, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 22, 2012 08:12PM Judy2013 wrote:

Vicky, I felt the same way you do and decided against taking it but my oncotype score is a 10.  Find out what your score is and then ask your MO how much risk you have of recurrence if you take Femara, and if you do not take Femara.  Mine was only a 7% difference but following a regular exercise program pretty much eliminates that 7% risk.  Do what you think is best for you!

Dx 12/2/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 22, 2012 08:48PM chrissyb wrote:

I have been on Femara for 15months now with almost no SE's at all.  The main one for me was fatigue but that is now passing.  I have arthritis in just about every joint but have found there to be no increase in pain in that area.  My hair has thinned but that is also a SE of aging and loss of estrogen and would have happened anyway.

We are all different and react differently to the drugs we are prescribed.  What works for one person may not work for another, what SE one person gets the next may not get at all.  The only thing you can do is try it for yourself with no expectations good or bad and just see how you are.  There is no rule that says if you start you can't stop.

Your doc is correct when he says that most of the people who post on these forums are the ones who have problems but the ones who don't rarely if at all let others know that they are not having problems.

Good luck with your decision.

Love n hugs.  Chrissy

I found my peace which gave me strength. 52 at dx. Dx 12/8/2003, IDC, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/12 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 23, 2012 08:42PM - edited Mar 23, 2012 08:44PM by stephN

Hi Vicky,

I'm fairly new on Femara (almost four months on letrozole) and I've got stiffness and a general achiness.  I feel like an old lady when I get up in the morning or after I've been sitting for awhile  But I'm not kidding when I say I feel great.  I felt horrible before I was diagnosed with BC.  I felt really bad during treatment, dealing with fatigue three surgeries and radiation.  I am feeling better every day, despite being on Femara! 

Good luck as you wait for your onco score and as you are making all these treatment decisions.  There is a time when the decisions are made and you begin to feel comfortable with them.  I hope that time comes soon for you.


DX 7/12/11 DCIS w/IDC microinvasion, Stage 1, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Nov 25, 2012 02:10PM Judithdj8820 wrote:

I have been on Femara/Letrozole for about 3 months. SE are servere achiness especially in my hands. Sometimes I can hardly use them.  I quit taking it for 2 weeks now to see if the pain would get better and it hasn't made much difference.  Now I'm just not sure what I should do. Is there something else I could take instead?


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