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 04:46AM - edited Nov 15, 2017 11:07AM by moderators

Posted on: Jul 10, 2012 04:46AM - edited Nov 15, 2017 11:07AM 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 12/6/2011 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/6/2011 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/9/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 4/16/2012 Mastectomy: Left Surgery 4/18/2012 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/28/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes, Bone Hormonal Therapy 7/9/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jul 20, 2012 03:54AM Ann97 wrote:

Hello everyone,

I appreciate this thread and all the information posted. I too had begun reading the other thread and knowing I had 2 years of posts to go through was a bit overwhelming.

I've been on Tamox for 1.5 years and am expecting my onc to switch me to Arimidex next month. At my last visit he told me the test he had run to see if I was going to come out of the chemo induced menopause showed that I was not. But he wanted to do the test one more time so he did and I'll get the results in early August.

I've not had any problems with the Tamox other than the scare of having developed Uterine cancer. I was spotting for about a year and so that concerned me. The spotting has just stopped in the past month or so.

I do have some hot flashes and night sweats but they don't bother me too much. And I had them before I was on Tamox so I attributed them to being from the menopause and not from the medication.

I am a very active person and followed a very healthy diet before diagnosis. I have a bit of a "life is short; eat cake" syndrome now :( that I'm trying to break myself of. Or at least break myself of eating the cake daily. ;)  So I have gained some weight but I also don't blame that on the meds.

I hope to stay SE free on Arimidex! And follow your good advice to continue being active and be better about my eating habits.

 Janice

Diagnosis: 6/8/2010, IDC, 1.5cm, Stage I, Grade 2, ITC in nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 20, 2012 05:59AM Ann97 wrote:

Not sure how I could forget about the one SE from Tamox that IS giving me issues and that is the thinning of tissue which causes painful intercourse. I've been on the thread where there are creams and such for helping but have not found anything to work for me yet (not giving up yet). My onc said this problem would get better on Arimidex???

Diagnosis: 6/8/2010, IDC, 1.5cm, Stage I, Grade 2, ITC in nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 20, 2012 06:24AM - edited Jul 20, 2012 07:15AM by vacationbound

Nancy- Yes,

  ER status is used to determine sensitivity of breast cancer lesions to tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors. I just have issue by the way you are explaining it, that is all. Please do not take offense, but I will say that these status markers are not fixed, and various tumors can be expressed differently, i.e. one tumor being ER+ whereas another ER-, the inferences are expressed dramtically different. The ER's helix 12 domain plays a crucial role in determining interactions with coactivators and corepressors and, therefore, the respective agonist or antagonist effect of the ligand is relative; The "ERα" primary transcript gives rise to several alternatively spliced variants of unknown function.

 Would like to share this also-

http://youtu.be/gZ8id_WPH9U

Youtube video "The control of Breast Stem Cells"

This animation illustrates how breast stem cells respond to steroid hormone despite the cells not having any steroid receptors. The animation illustrates the research published in Nature (Vol 465, Issue 7299, 2010) by the laboratory of Jane Visvader and Geoffrey Lindeman. 

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 20, 2012 08:05AM LindaF wrote:

Hello

I will just jump in with my observations:   I finished my chemo in OCT 2011 and then radiation therapy at the end of Jan2012, and was started on Arimidex immediately along with fosamax.   After two months, I noted a huge difference in my "bounciness" as in it was gone and I needed those 30 steps to get myself moving after any length of time being immobile.   (My hips ached so badly, and I was a healthy 61 before this all started.)  I mentioned this aching via email to my oncologist, who advised me to stop taking it and come in and see her.   I stopped it, but was so mentally elated that I proceeded to shovel/turn over three raised bed gardens, weed the entire yard, haul mulch, and dig out bushes.   In 10 days I was aching all over far more than when I had been on the arimidex, so I went back on it and canceled the onc appointment since I had not given it a true test to see if I could improve my aches while off of it.

Biggest surprise.....I haven't had any stiffness since to speak of.   I also began reading "Younger Next Year for Women" by ? and Lodge, and I have tried to use the 7 principles it espoused, the first 3 concerning exercise, and I hate to exercise for excercise's sake!   My Oncologist also stopped the fosamax and put me on Zometa IV every 6 months, since it has shown to be cancer-protective.

Most importantly, it appears that the arimidex is working, the spots in my lungs are shrinking with each CT scan. 

By making the daily effort to eat healthy, walk/run/swim/do stairs for a total of 45" most days I have lost an easy 10# (BMI now 21), dropped my cholesterol total by almost 100 points and I don't seem to have the aches any longer.   I can only hope this continues to work for me, and might help others to combat the SE they are feeling on this drug.

What was that commercial??  "A body at rest tends to stay at rest, but a body in motion tends to stay in motion"?  So during commercials, I jump up and do stretches/jumping jacks/anything I can think of to move.

Best of luck and good wishes to all who have to suffer this dreadful disease and its aftermath!

LindaF Dx 5/2/2011, ILC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 1, 6/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 5/25/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 7/4/2011 AC Chemotherapy 9/12/2011 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 11/28/2011 Hormonal Therapy 1/25/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Dx 10/2/2017, ILC, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone/lungs, ER+/PR-, HER2-,
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Jul 20, 2012 08:33AM claire_in_seattle wrote:

Congrats on all fronts, Linda!  I find what you said fascinating, and I think related to the fact that you got stronger and took some of the pressure off your joints.  Being muscled does that, and serious digging builds muscle.  I also think that the Second Law of Thermodynamics applies.

Plus you get gorgeous roses!

I think I am ready to get back on a bicycle seat, but will do tomorrow, and something easy.  There is a fun ride on Sunday that hits one of my favorite places to cycle, so plan on that one too.

When I started Armidex, it was 4 weeks post Taxol and the same week as radiation.  I think some of the soreness was from Taxol.  I was training for summer cycling events (which I did!) so getting plenty of exercise.  I remember that I needed ibuprofen to get through long rides.  I think that I am more in need of energy potions than prior to breast cancer.  But it could be that I have learned that bonking isn't necessary, and not fun either.

Ten pounds is enough to make a difference in how your clothes fit, so hope you are enjoying that as well.  Major, major congrats!

Completed all treatment (AC +T, lumpectomy, radiation and 5 years of AIs - anastrazole). Now celebrating every single day for the wonderful life I have been granted. Dx 8/2009, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jul 20, 2012 09:09AM Mini1 wrote:

I have found Aromasin to be much easier to take than Anastrazole. It was like night and day for me. If one doesn't work for you, try another. I started to feel better in a matter of days of coming off the Anastrazole. I went from zombie back to human being in about two weeks. Both were taken during radiaton, so if that were the case the Aromasin should have made me feel worse not better since it was taken during a longer period of radiation.There are options out there other than Anastrazole. I encourage anyone to try another before totally writing off AI's altogether.

"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 4/15/2012 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 20, 2012 09:18AM exbrnxgrl wrote:

Good advice, mini. It is amazing how the AI's effect us so differently. It is also fortunate that we have choices. Caryn

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Jul 20, 2012 09:58AM Mini1 wrote:

exbrngrl - We are fortunate. I have said often on here that I would have gone w/o any meds if Anastrazole was my only option. It was horrible.  No QOL at all. Now once I get these last 2 rads out of the way, I can try to get back to some sense of normalcy!

"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 4/15/2012 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 20, 2012 10:24AM - edited Jul 20, 2012 10:29AM by vacationbound

Linda-

Question: When you say Zometa is cancer protective, what does this mean? 

Also, you mention lung spots, so your stage IV now? The Arimidex has recently shown that it combats estrogen in the lungs 

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 20, 2012 04:54PM nancyjac wrote:

vacationbound,

 I don't mean to belabor this but I think we are trying to make totally different points.  The ONLY point I made is that  the ER status on a pathology report is by definition relevant to and only to the cells in the sample provided and identifies the percentage of the cells sampled that have estrogen receptors, not the amount of estrogen available to those cells.  Any of the rest of what you are discussing in terms of lessions, tumors, sentivity to AIs, stem cells, etc. are all different topics none of which I addressed in any way, shape, or form.

Dx 11/2011, IBC, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 12/6/2011 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 12/6/2011 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/9/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 4/16/2012 Mastectomy: Left Surgery 4/18/2012 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/28/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes, Bone Hormonal Therapy 7/9/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole)

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