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 19, 2012 01:07PM vacationbound wrote:

maggie-

I have contralateral breast pain too-it was there before the Arimidex and right after rad's and it it still there after stopping Arimidex-I, like you, started a few months ago; My mammo is scheduled August 7th-I do not think it is an SE of any treatment, it is something, but not that.

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 19, 2012 02:30PM Mini1 wrote:

My doc has me on the the AI vs Tamox because of the effacacy for post-menopausal women. I have concerns because of my bone loss, but my onco doc says there is some documentation out there that Aromisin has less bone loss than both Anastrazole, although like everything else with this disease and it's treatments there is conflicting data. I am going to try staying on it for a year and control bone loss with diet and exercise.

As I continue to read up on nutrition I am finding more and more that diet more than any other factor contributes to the onset of the disease and helps "cure" this disease more than any other factor.

"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 19, 2012 03:21PM blessings2011 wrote:

Claire_in_Seattle - my BC dx last fall saved my life in many ways. Had it not been for that, I would not have lost all this weight, or made it a priority to exercise every day no matter what.

I'm nowhere near the activity level you are, but considering that last year I was a committed couch potato, I am happy to say I'm doing 90 minute water aerobic workouts, riding my bike, and power walking.

My energy has increased a million percent, and my fibromyalgia pain has diminished considerably. I haven't felt this good in 20 years.

My MO told me that recent studies have shown that diet and exercise alone can reduce the risk of recurrence of ER+ BC by at least 23%. I'd say that was a good thing.

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 19, 2012 03:30PM Mini1 wrote:

Water aerobics, bike riding, and power walking? I think you're doing awesome! I have always said if it were possible for people people to feel like they would if they were eating right and exercising regularly for 24 hours, you wouldn't have to have diet pills or programs; People would just do it because you feel so much better.

"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 19, 2012 07:47PM blessings2011 wrote:

Just got back from a pedicure. What magazine did I read? "Fitness"!!! No way would I ever have picked that up in the past, because I knew I would never be one of those skinny weasel 20-something gym rats!

I've always said that medically, it's very difficult to do something just because "it's good for you."

There has to be some payoff....some benefit. That'w why there's such low compliance in some patients who take blood pressure medication. There's no immediate payoff - no immediate feeling better, like, say, taking a pain pill for pain.

The payoff from diet and exercise is definitely delayed gratification. It takes a lot of faith to believe that going out and moving my fat butt is going to make me feel better than laying in my recliner, snacking on chips, and reading a trashy novel.

I always whined when my doc told me to go out and move to make the pain from my fibromyalgia go away. I thought he was crazy. The few times I did it, I felt worse. Of course, that just confirmed my theory that the recliner, chips, and book were the best medicine!

But the BC dx got my attention like nothing else ever did before.

Now I am already stressing about the time I will be out of the pool after my exchange surgery. I don't want to lose any ground!!! Wink

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 19, 2012 08:05PM nancyjac wrote:

vacationbound,

 I'm not sure what you were responding to, but I don't think anybody said that at all.  Surgical removal of reproductive organs certainly does reduce estrogen production in your body.  I was just clarifying that on pathology reports, the % receptive for ER+ refers to the percentage of cancer cells with estrogen receptors, not the amount of estrogen your body produces.

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 19, 2012 08:12PM nancyjac wrote:

NKB,

Generally speaking, Tomoxiphen is used for those that are premenopausal and aromatase inhibitors for those that are post menopausal.  My MO said she prescribes Anastrozole/Armindex because it has been in use the longest, so the most data is available about long term use.

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 19, 2012 08:34PM - edited Jul 19, 2012 09:12PM by vacationbound

Nancy-
Your July 17th statement is a little confusing, I understand what an ER receptor measure is however the last part of your last statement:

"It is based on the structure of those cells and is not affected by whether or how much estogen is available to those cells. "

The "It" you are referring to, ER staus, is directly affected by measurements of estrogen....so to calrify-

If you are ER+, your tumor cells respond to estrogen and thrive on it. By having an ooph, taking Tamoxifen and/or AI's, you are depriving the tumor cells of the estrogen they desire. Some estrogen will always be in your body, but there's less of it. Therefore there's less fuel for the cancer cells.  When an estrogen molecule enters a cell and passes into the nucleus, it binds to its receptor. That causes the shape of the receptor to change. The estrogen-receptor complex binds to coactivator proteins. This causes nearby genes to become active. The active genes make molecules of messenger RNA. These guide the synthesis of specific proteins. The proteins can then influence cell behavior in different ways. How depends on the type of cell involved.

From the BCO website:

"It's also worth noting that some breast cancers that are hormone-receptor-positive can lose their receptors over time. The opposite is also true: hormone-receptor-negative cancers can gain receptors. If the breast cancer recurs in the future as advanced disease, doctors should order a repeat biopsy and retest the cancer for hormone receptors. If the cancer cells no longer have receptors, hormonal therapy is unlikely to help treat the cancer. If the cells have gained hormone receptors, however, then hormonal therapy may be helpful. "

It's the same concept as antiangiogenesis: tumors need a blood supply in order to thrive, and when the blood supply is diminished, they do not thrive as well as they would with a large blood supply.

And what Mina Bissell is stating in her talk, and I believe she is very correct, the tumor's microenvironment is very important. It's just that it is really not a revolutionary idea. The guys doing cell function analysis have known this for years (Nagourney and Weisenthal) and have gelled this idea into their drug selection technology. Please listen to her lecture, it is very important to know how the cells work in order to understand their language. 

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 19, 2012 10:52PM nancyjac wrote:

vacationbound,

 Ok, let me try this again.  My original post was in response to a couple of previous posters whose comments indicated to me that they thought the high percentage of ER+ on their path reports meant that they had a high percentage of estrogen.  I was only clarifying that that is not what that means on a pathology report.  It means that a high percentage of the cancer cells examines have estrogen sensitive receptors.  That is what I meant by the structure of those cells....that they have estrogen receptors...and those receptors exist in the same percentage regardless of how much or how little estrogen is available to them.  ER status is not a measure of estrogen, it is a measure of estrogen recpeptors...two completely different things.

I agree with you completely that reducing the available estrogen deprives those cells of as much estrogen and that cancer recurrence should be confirmed with re-examination of ER status and all the rest that you said.  But none of that had anything to do with my original post on this subject.  I was and still am merely trying to explain what ER+ and % means on a pathology report.

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 20, 2012 05:33AM sammolisa wrote:

Thanks for the new thread. You're right it was getting intimidating. So far I have been on Arimidex for about a month or so. I got to get of it for 2 Weeks while I had my hysterectomy. I just started back on it yesterday, so I have a really clear line of side effect changes lately. Headaches and fatigue and joint pain are worse on the Arimidex. And the insomnia is just stupid. My onc (he's a new one because we moved to California) won't even listen to any pain problems, says I have to talk to my MD for pain management. Not sure I like this guy.

Dx September 20, 2010-- IDC Stage IIB 2.5 cm 2/20 nodes. Grade 3 ER/PR+ HER2- completed all active treatment May 2011. Yay! Surgery 10/20/2010 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left) Chemotherapy 12/4/2010 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 4/10/2011 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 6/1/2011 Fareston (toremifene) Surgery 8/9/2011 Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2012 Hormonal Therapy 6/13/2012 Aromasin (exemestane) Surgery 7/6/2012 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 9/15/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 8/20/2013 Fareston (toremifene)

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