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Topic: Femara and high LDL cholestrol?

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: Feb 9, 2017 05:02PM

cbaird99 wrote:

I have been on Femara for 2 years now. Just had my annual ckup and my LDL and overal numbers are quite high, dr. wants to put me on statins. I have alot of heart disease in my family and will probably agree to go on them for the short term and try to revamp my diet. BUT am I just having wishful thinking that I can get my numbers down while on femara? Anyone had this side effect and successfully overcome it?

Dx 2/6/2015, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/23/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/30/2015 Whole-breast: Breast
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Feb 9, 2017 06:34PM Moderators wrote:

Hi cbaird,

We're so sorry you're experiencing this side effect. We're sure others will be by shortly with some advice, but in the meantime, you may want to check out the main Breastcancer.org site's side effect page on High Cholesterol, for a list of tips to help manage your cholesterol levels.

We hope this helps!

--The Mods

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Feb 9, 2017 10:33PM Kicks wrote:

I've been on Femara for 7 yrs and my total cholesterol is very high. Total has always been high but is higher since Femara/letrozole. However, my LDL has always been low (well within normal range) and has remained pretty much constant for many yrs (long before Femara/letrozole) but my HDL is quite high. HDL has also been higher than most have but since A/C, Taxol and Femara/letrozole, it has increased so the total has increased. What had been a high total is now a very high total but nothing to be concerned about as the LDL is low and it's the HDL that is so high.

My PA, who has been my PC for over 20 yrs, has checked with Specialist who have all said that I'm 'weird' but a few are and it's nothing to be concerned about with a high total when the LDL is low and the HDL is high thus making the total high and has been for a long time.

Dx 8/7/2009, IBC, Stage IIIC, 19/19 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 8/25/2009 AC Surgery 10/21/2009 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 11/11/2009 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/4/2010 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Feb 10, 2017 03:41AM vlnrph wrote:

With a pronounced family history of cardiac disease, I wanted to get my lipid panel under control before starting AI therapy and agreed to begin a statin. Although I always had nice high HDL numbers, my LDL went up so the dose had to be bumped. I also take 200mg coenzyme Q daily in order to avoid muscle discomfort.

Diet & exercise can help but the issue is really one of metabolism. Here is how I think of it: because the body can manufacture cholesterol, using substrate with chemistry similar to the core molecule of estrogen, the conversion that is prevented by aromatase inhibition means there is more supply to the other pathway.

There is some thought that the real benefit from Crestor, Lipitor, Zocor and all the others is actually in their anti-inflammatory properties, not simply the ability to lower laboratory values. Depending on your age and other health factors, you may want to ask your doctor about aspirin at some point. Growing older is not for sissies!

IDC too! Rt MX/DIEP 4-2011; ALND 5-2011 d/t micromets; TC X 4; tamoxifen; lymphedema as of 9-18-11; switch to letrozole 3-15-14; Discovery made during chemo=I'm a human BEING, not a human DOING Dx 3/7/2011, ILC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/25 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 10, 2017 05:40AM SpecialK wrote:

There is also the question as to whether cholesterol is rising due to the lack of estrogen naturally experienced as one enters menopause. My total cholesterol went up dramatically at 45 when I had a hysterectomy with ovary removal - it went from the mid 150s to 260 pretty rapidly. Higher cholesterol is then potentially exacerbated by aromatase inhibitors eliminating the little estrogen still produced in post-menopause. I was on a statin for a while - which pre-dated my breast cancer diagnosis, but did overlap my active treatment, but found that it also increased my fasting glucose - into the pre-diabetic range, so I weaned off without my numbers going up. Like Kicks, my total number is driven by HDL. After I stopped taking the statin I also changed the way I eat and dropped my total number by 30 points by adopting an anti-inflammatory diet.

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 14 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, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3

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