Topic: For Arimidex (Anastrozole) users, new, past, and ongoing

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: Jul 10, 2012 07:46AM - edited Nov 15, 2017 02:07PM by moderators

Posted on: Jul 10, 2012 07:46AM - edited Nov 15, 2017 02:07PM by moderators

nancyjac wrote:

I found a couple of older threads about Arimidex, but they covered a large time span with a gazillion posts, so I thought I would start a new thread for Arimidex/Anastrozole users.

I am starting on Anastrozole today. Plan is to take it for 5 years, possibly longer. I already have osteopenia and osteoarthritis (limited to one knee at this point), so I am most concerned about the bone and joint side effects. I'm already frustrated by finally having some energy and stamina back after chemo and radiation, but now I have trouble exercising due to the bum knee. I'm concerned about that getting to be even more of a problem on the Anastrozole.

Please share you experiences, side effects, questions etc. about Armidex/Anastrozole here.

Edited by Mods to add content from the main Breastcancer.org site on Arimidex: Benefits, Side Effects and More

Dx 11/2011, IBC, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 12/7/2011 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/7/2011 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/10/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 4/17/2012 Mastectomy: Left Surgery 4/19/2012 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/29/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes, Bone Hormonal Therapy 7/10/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jul 15, 2012 07:07PM Lee7 wrote:

I think I'll try arimidex for lunch and see what happens...I see my Med Onc later this summer and I may ask to try another AI.  It sounds like just switching has helped a lot of women.  Doesn't  Aromasin works a little differently than the other two AI's?.

Dx 10/2010, IDC, Stage IIA, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 15, 2012 07:19PM nancyjac wrote:

I have some Prilosec left over from chemo.  I didn't have nausea with chemo but I did get indigestion a lot.  I haven't taken any since I started radiation and haven't really needed it.  Haven't had any more nausea since this morning and even then it was very slight and only lasted for a few minutes.

Dx 11/2011, IBC, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 12/7/2011 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/7/2011 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/10/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 4/17/2012 Mastectomy: Left Surgery 4/19/2012 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/29/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes, Bone Hormonal Therapy 7/10/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jul 15, 2012 11:20PM Trisha-Anne wrote:

Mini1 - then I hope I'm like you and have no se's on Aromasin.  Interestingly though my bone density showed I had the bones of a 17 year old - a healthy well boned 17 year old lol.

Trish

I have made a long journey and been to a strange land and I've seen the dark man very close ... Thomas Wolfe Dx 9/17/2010, ILC, <1cm, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 9/17/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 11/4/2015, IDC, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 16, 2012 10:44AM Mini1 wrote:

Trisha - my bone density showed I have bones worse than my 82 year old mother-in-law. Undecided I have found probiotics to work much better on my stomach than Rx meds. If you do dairy, kefir in drink form is good. It's in the dairy case with the yogurt. It comes in many flavors and have more probiotics than yogurt and supplements.

I hope you have good results with Aromasin too! If not, I believe there is one other you can try. Good Luck!

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11 Surgery 4/16/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Dx IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 16, 2012 06:49PM - edited Jul 20, 2012 10:21AM by vacationbound

I have been doing extensive research on this very subject as I am ERPR + and I just had my Hysterectomy to rid my body of my estrogen as my Tamoxifen failed and started to cause Uterine Cancer as a result. The Onc wants me to take Arimidex, which is an aromatase inhibitor and will benefit you as well. Dropping the weight too will help as estrogen hides out in the adipose tissue's and this is my next plan of attack as my ER assay show's that I was a 99% estrogen status. If you have any type of cancer that is ER driven, the priority would be to rid your body of as much production as possible. The only bad thing about any AI is it cause's bone loss from lack of estrogen so taking Strontium or a calcium plan of mag, pot, Vit D and calcium glucarate will decrease the bone loss activity.
What is estrogen?
Estrogen is an entire class of related hormones. They include estriol, estradiol, and estrone.
Estriol is made from the placenta. It's produced during pregnancy.
Estradiol is the primary sex hormone of childbearing women. It is formed from developing ovarian follicles. Estradiol is responsible for female characteristics and sexual functioning. Also, estradiol is important to women's bone health. Estradiol contributes to most gynecologic problems such as endometriosis and fibroids and even female cancers.
Estrone is widespread throughout the body. It is the only one of the estrogens that's present in any amount in women after menopause.
Estrone (E1) is found in adipose tissue/body fat, (E2) Estrodiol, Estriol (E3)-confirm this as could be inaccurate-Progesterone (pg) DHEA-S (DS) and Cortisol (c)
Estrone is synthesized via aromatase from androstenedione, a derivative of progesterone. The conversion consists of the de-methylation of C-19 and the aromaticity of the 'A' ring. This reaction is similar to the conversion of testosterone to estradiol.
http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/summary/summary.cgi?cid=5870&loc=ec_rcs
I'm not sure about AI's or Bisphosphonates. I'm fresh out the gate with diagnosis in Aug 2011, did all the adjunct stuff, now Total Hysterectomy and I'm suppose to be back on my Arimidex but it gives me terrible SE's; My Onc wants to move on but I'm stalling-I had reaction to Tamoxifen which led to the Hysterectomy and Arimidex say's on pkg if your sensitive to T then A not going to work either. I'm a poor metabolizer and I feel if the little left Estrone (E1) in my adipose tissue can be addressed then I can slim down a lot-from what I understand estrogen lives in fat tissue, there's is nothing I can do about the estrone that the adrenals make but without any estrogen the body will just convert testosterone (Estrodiol) so your never going to be without any estrogen in your body. Aromatase, an enzyme in the body, turns the androgen testosterone into the estrogen estradiol. Estrogen converting cells in the adrenal glands, ovaries, placenta, testicles, adipose tissues, testicles, and brain contain this enzyme-too little androgen can cause several health problems-Arimidex cause's many SE's. I am in experimental mode right now. I am doing lab work on the estrogen panel giving me a baseline with no Arimidex then in 3 months, I will take the Arimidex-3 months from then, I will compare. If there is no huge drop in the estrogen panels then I do not see why I would need to take Arimidex, remember, I am a poor metabolizer of drugs and what doesn't work for me may work for you. This is just how I choose to gauge it.
Also, if your postmenopausal, your more than likely to be prescribed the Arimidex or some other AI-this is a paragraph from the prescribing sheet of Arimidex; 12.2 Pharmacodynamics it states: Effect on Estrodiol: Because aromoitization of adrenal androgens is not a significant source of Estrodiol in pre-menopausal women, Arimidex would not be expected to lower Estrodiol levels in pre-menopausal women"; so chemically, they are two different drugs-Tamoxifen is blocking the predominant source of Estrogen from the Ovary's while the Arimidex is inhibiting manufacturer through the adrenal glands and other areas of the body. Also noted in pkg info is that Arimidex blocks only 70% so it is certain that at least 30% of estrogen will remain in the body so if your doing panels with your ND, you will still have trace amounts show up, I did however read a study on Arimidex that it keeps lung mets at bay as the lungs require hormones to neccessitate their function. The reason I'm doing this is I took Arimidex offf/on for a few months now and every time the bone pain is horrible.....
8/8/2011 IDC, 5 cm, Stage 3C, ER+PR+Her- grade 2, 11/19 Pos nodes; 1 Adriamycin-allergic,no more chemo; 32 Rad's; Tamo&Lupron failed, Hyster May 2012, Arimidex june-aug,Sept 2012, small mets L1/L4,May 2013 5mm tumor on left lobe of liver Dx 8/8/2011, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, 11/19 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 17, 2012 10:46AM Allagashmaggie wrote:

Thank you nancyjac for starting this new thread on hormone blocking therapy.  The other one was becoming somewhat overwhelming.  I have been on Arimidex for almost 3 months now.  At first I noticed some aching knees and my thumbs ache but for the most part, the joint pain is minimal.  My tumor was 95% estrogen receptive which surprised me as I had a complete hysterectomy 10 years ago, plus I have always been thin.  The breast surgeon told me I get estrogen in other ways, through fat and food.  The one side effect that I have experienced that I don't see mentioned by others is tender breast, particulary in my good one.  The literature I got on mine said that was a side effect but with my upcoming 6-month mammogram next week, I am getting anxious.  Just in the last two days I have switched to decaf coffee (only drink 2 cups a day anyway) and I think I may notice a difference.  I may have some enhanced fibromylagia pain in my right shoulder too but this is something I have lived with for years.  Still......we cannot take these aches and pains for granted anymore.   So now I need to get my butt off this computer chair and go for a walk.  I find walking and being on the move does indeed help.  Good luck one and all, Allagashmaggie

Dx 8/8/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 17, 2012 12:38PM nancyjac wrote:

A couple of people have mentioned that they ER+ even though they post menopausal, post hysterectomy, not overweight, etc.  According to my MO, none of that has anything to do with being ER+.  The measure of ER+ (i.e. % receptive) is the number of cells in the sample that had estogen receptors.  It is based on the structure of those cells and is not affected by whether or how much estogen is available to those cells.  

Dx 11/2011, IBC, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 12/7/2011 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/7/2011 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/10/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 4/17/2012 Mastectomy: Left Surgery 4/19/2012 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/29/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes, Bone Hormonal Therapy 7/10/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jul 17, 2012 12:54PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

Nancyjac,
That is exactly how my mo explained it to me. It has nothing to do with having estrogen in your body. It is the estrogen receptivity of your tumor cells. Caryn

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Jul 17, 2012 01:45PM blessings2011 wrote:

Yeah, I tried that "I don't have any estrogen in my body!" argument with my MO....it didn't work.....Undecided

Still in reprieve from starting the Anastrozole, but that's only gonna last another month or so, I think....

Dx 9/15/2011, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/5/2011 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left); Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Surgery 8/22/2012 Reconstruction (Left); Reconstruction (Right) Hormonal Therapy 9/5/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 10/22/2013 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 10/1/2021 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx IDC: Papillary, Left, <1, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 17, 2012 02:15PM SusannahW wrote:

I agree with Maggie, thank you for starting this thread nancyjac, and thank you for the encouraging report Maggie. I know that caffeine can make your breasts tender, hoping that's all it is.

Susannah

Dx 3/2012, IDC, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 4/27/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 6/4/2012 Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/1/2012 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 10/9/2012 Aromasin (exemestane)

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