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

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: Jul 10, 2012 06:46AM - edited Nov 15, 2017 01:07PM 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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Posts 151 - 180 (17,516 total)

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Jul 30, 2012 02:35PM annie-2 wrote:

Thanks for the list.....but I really do not understand why black tea is on the avoid list. Does anyone know why..... and how much would it take to be a problem?

JO-5

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Jul 30, 2012 02:56PM Mini1 wrote:

I lost the whole thread. :-( Would someone please post the links of what's good and what to avoid? I'd be realy grateful.

"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 30, 2012 02:57PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

I don't eat much meat anymore and it is organic when I do however, if I slip up or "cheat" sometimes I don't beat myself up. Moderation works for me. Deprivation isn't an option:)

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Jul 30, 2012 03:10PM Mini1 wrote:

At first when I had to change my diet I did feel deprived. Now I don't want most of what I can't eat. I agree with exbrmxgrl, moderation without guilt is key.

"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 30, 2012 03:19PM - edited Jul 30, 2012 04:16PM by ruthbru

The food recommendations are for everyone to lower recurrence risk, they don't have anything to do with Als (and, in fact, are even more important to our triple negative sisters who don't have the 'cushion' we get from taking them) . I wouldn't add supplemental soy or flax to the diet, but I don't run from the room screaming if served a dish containing them Tongue out. I don't drink alcohol very often, and then not more than a drink or two. I do add extra calcium plus vitamin D along with getting in the 2 servings of dairy. I try to eat less red meat and more fish and chicken, more fruits and veggies, less processed food. I am totally ignoring the ingredients in makeup etc. as if I worry about everything I will have a heart attack and be dead anyway. Another thing that seems to lower the recurrence risk is a daily low dose aspirin (of course, check that out with your doctor before starting).
"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 30, 2012 03:44PM Mini1 wrote:

I have gastric issues that make it necessary for me to be careful, but if I didn't, I'd be the same way ruthbru. I allow myself small indulences where possible. Not eating packaged food makes things much easier. No labels on a banana. :-)

"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 30, 2012 04:10PM Nkb wrote:

What about flax seeds in food? I've eaten uncle sams cereal for years and it is full of flax seeds.

Dx 1/2012, ILC, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/4/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 2/28/2012 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 9/11/2012 Hormonal Therapy 10/21/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Dx 5/2017, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/other, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2017 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Targeted Therapy 6/1/2017 Ibrance (palbociclib) Targeted Therapy 3/13/2019 Afinitor (everolimus) Hormonal Therapy 3/13/2019 Aromasin (exemestane) Chemotherapy 3/10/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Jul 30, 2012 04:21PM ruthbru wrote:

Flax produces a pseudo estrogen effect (as does soy), there is a lot of controversy as to whether or not they make any difference to an estrogen positive woman. I just choose to err on the side of caution and not add extra to my diet. You might want to switch up your cereal and not eat it every single day....eat some oatmeal, it will lower your cholesterol Smile.
"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 30, 2012 05:39PM SpecialK wrote:

I still eat beef, although grass-fed, no antibiotics or hormones.  Same with chicken, pasture raised free-range, no hormones or antibiotics, same with eggs.  I use protein fairly sparingly and try to concentrate on organic high-fiber, low sugar fruit, and organic low-starch vegetables.

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 15 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 6/18/13-present. Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Jul 30, 2012 07:19PM Lee7 wrote:

JO-5,

You can click on black tea on the list in Special K's post (thanks K!) and it will take you to a page that explains about black tea and green tea. http://foodforbreastcancer.com/foods/black-tea   I've copied it here.

I started drinking black tea as a kid. I still drink it but I've added green and red teas now.  I really like the reds.

Dx 10/2010, IDC, Stage IIA, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 30, 2012 08:09PM kjiberty wrote:

Thanks to all you ladies for the great info as a "new" arimidex user.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate this board and all your knowledge.

Karen Surgery 3/12/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 4/19/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 7/25/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 7/25/2012 Breast Dx IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 30, 2012 09:51PM ruthbru wrote:

That's why we are called 'The A Team'!! Smile
"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 30, 2012 11:00PM Msbelle wrote:

As a new member on the A team :)......has anyone had loose stools? Trying to figure out if the cause is AI or herceptin. I'm suppose to start the metformin study soon as well. I may never come out of the bathroom.

Dx 1/13/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 2/9/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Targeted Therapy 2/23/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 2/23/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 6/28/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 7/18/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/10/2012 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery 12/18/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal
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Jul 31, 2012 09:01AM Mini1 wrote:

I just read somsething that has black tea on the OK list. Arghhh. Just once I'd like something to sraightforward and not contradictory to another study or list.

And MsBelle - I had the opposite issue. Of course, I had lots of other side effects, so I may not be the best person to answer your question. :-)

"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 31, 2012 09:45AM SpecialK wrote:

msbelle - I was plagued by this through both chemo (understandable) and the first part of Herceptin alone until one of the onc nurses told me to start taking a probiotic.  I started using Phillips Colon Health, because I could find it easily - only reason, about half way through H alone and it was like a miracle.  I have continued taking it (finished Herceptin in Jan. '12) and I am the most regular I have been in 20 years.  I did have a colonoscopy consult with a gastroenterologist recently and I specifically asked him if he had a different probiotic to recommend and he said if what I am taking works for me to stay with it.  I know a few people who use FloraSmart, which you can get at Whole Foods.  Yogurt is helpful but I don't eat dairy anymore and I don't think you get enough of the probiotic unless you eat about 6 a day, lol! 

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 15 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 6/18/13-present. Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Jul 31, 2012 11:37AM Mini1 wrote:

I use a probiotic as well. I guess it works both ways. :-)

"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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Aug 1, 2012 09:52AM C-squared wrote:

Starting Anastrozole today..., wish me luck!

Smile

Chemo: T & A/C (Jan-May'12) Surg:SLNB (Dec'11); LX (Mar'12); BMX,TE's & Ooph (Jul '12); TE (Aug '12); Exchange (Dec '12) Hormone: Arimidex (Aug'12) & Letrozole (Dec'12) Dx 11/30/2011, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 1, 2012 10:18AM exbrnxgrl wrote:

Good luck! I have been on it for 8 months and have had very minor se's which have easily been managed and are almost non-existent at this point. Caryn

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Aug 1, 2012 10:36AM C-squared wrote:

Thanks Caryn!  I like to hear the positive stories.  Any recommendations?  Vitamins?  Supplements? I hope to start walking (weight bearing exercise) soon.
Chemo: T & A/C (Jan-May'12) Surg:SLNB (Dec'11); LX (Mar'12); BMX,TE's & Ooph (Jul '12); TE (Aug '12); Exchange (Dec '12) Hormone: Arimidex (Aug'12) & Letrozole (Dec'12) Dx 11/30/2011, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 1, 2012 10:53AM exbrnxgrl wrote:

I think exercise has been key for me. I work out at a gym and use a personal trainer to structure my work outs. She knows about my bc and lymphedema risk. I alternate aerobic and strength training ( weights). I also try to take the more physical options in everyday life i.e. stairs, parking far away in lots etc. As for supplements, I take D3, glucosamine, boswellia and DIM. I also get monthly Aredia infusions. I am babysitting my granddaughter today. They live in San Francisco in a walk up apartment and I'll be taking a long walk, pushing her stroller, through Golden Gate park. That's after I go to the gym this morning so I've got my exercise covered for today! Caryn

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Aug 1, 2012 11:46AM C-squared wrote:

Thanks again exbrnxgrl!  Your grandaughter is adorable!!!  And yes, that is indeed exercise enough!
Chemo: T & A/C (Jan-May'12) Surg:SLNB (Dec'11); LX (Mar'12); BMX,TE's & Ooph (Jul '12); TE (Aug '12); Exchange (Dec '12) Hormone: Arimidex (Aug'12) & Letrozole (Dec'12) Dx 11/30/2011, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 1, 2012 11:48AM hrf wrote:

My worst se from Arimidex is thinning hair. Anyone else having the same problem? 

BRCA2+ first dx in Oct. 2004 2nd dx Feb. 2009 a new primary
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Aug 1, 2012 11:58AM C-squared wrote:

hrf~  that's frightening.., I'm just trying to get my hair back -LOLOL
Chemo: T & A/C (Jan-May'12) Surg:SLNB (Dec'11); LX (Mar'12); BMX,TE's & Ooph (Jul '12); TE (Aug '12); Exchange (Dec '12) Hormone: Arimidex (Aug'12) & Letrozole (Dec'12) Dx 11/30/2011, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 1, 2012 12:03PM hrf wrote:

C-squared, it didn't grow back very well but since I'm on the AI, it just keeps getting thinner. MO said it the AI. I have 2 more years to go and think I will be mostly bald by then. Not good. I've tried everything and there is no improvement.

BRCA2+ first dx in Oct. 2004 2nd dx Feb. 2009 a new primary
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Aug 1, 2012 12:35PM - edited Aug 1, 2012 12:36PM by ruthbru

Have you tried Nioxin? Haven't needed it for Arimidex, but that is what my hair dresser recommended for post-chemo hair growth.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 1, 2012 12:38PM C-squared wrote:

ruth~ funny I was just researching that last night.  I will be trying it!  I'm ready for hair (on my head).

Smile

Chemo: T & A/C (Jan-May'12) Surg:SLNB (Dec'11); LX (Mar'12); BMX,TE's & Ooph (Jul '12); TE (Aug '12); Exchange (Dec '12) Hormone: Arimidex (Aug'12) & Letrozole (Dec'12) Dx 11/30/2011, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 1, 2012 12:42PM Mini1 wrote:

I am trying Biotin for hair thinning. I've several threads here that recommend it. Just started so I have no idea if it will work, but it's worth a shot. I don't like the idea of Rogaine. Too many chemicals.

"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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Aug 1, 2012 01:23PM SusannahW wrote:

Good luck C! I'm starting arimidex soon, please keep us posted.

Dx 3/2012, IDC, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 4/26/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 6/3/2012 Breast Hormonal Therapy 8/31/2012 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 10/8/2012 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Aug 1, 2012 03:13PM hrf wrote:

I have been using Biotin for 3 years ... no help. Have been using Minoxidil for 2 years....no help. I've been to specialists - have had scalp biopsies.....nothing can be done. I use Head & Shoulders because of the zinc. The hair I have is damaged from chemo (at the root level) and my hair continues to fall out. Was told I might have some growth back when I finish Arimidex but not to expect a lot. 

BRCA2+ first dx in Oct. 2004 2nd dx Feb. 2009 a new primary
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Aug 1, 2012 06:47PM ruthbru wrote:

You could try Nioxin for chemically treated hair. I washed my scalp with the 'chemically treated hair' formula during chemo because, as my hair stylist explained, my hair was being chemically treated from the inside out. When you are done with chemo or it quits actually falling out, then switch to the regular formula until it is the thickness you like. It would be worth a try anyway.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-

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