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Sep 5, 2021 01:45PM
Sep 5, 2021 01:47PM
Hi there, I always hesitate to contribute to a thread like this since I'm Stage IV and also on Herceptin indefinitely but here are a few observations -
- I'm post menopausal and after doing a lot of reading during my initial diagnosis, I requested Arimidex as my AI because it seemed to have the smallest number of “scary stories" and side effect warnings. My onc agreed and I've been on it four years.
- side effects that are warned of in the package inserts of these drugs only happen to small percentages of people. If the more severe SEs were happening to everyone, the drug would be off the market. If you look at the research behind the drug,you can see the percentages etc.
- as for heart complications, I do feel qualified to offer my experience here. I had hypertension prior to cancer, for a long time. It's under control with medication. I have been on anastrozole plus Herceptin and Perjeta for 4 years. I also had six months of taxane chemo at the beginning of treatment. Herceptin carries its own risk of cardiac problems and I must get an echocardiogram two to three times per year. Every one of my echocardiograms so far has been fine. Every other test my cardiologist does is always normal. That doesn't mean you are guaranteed the same results but it does show that four years of anastrozole does not automatically mean you'll develop heart disease.
- I do have other side effects - joint pain, muscle cramping, fatigue- but so far, for me, they are livable. I don't have the option of stopping this drug (it's not a choice I would make in my situation) but I *could* request a different AI to see if I tolerate it better - but so far I haven't been moved to do that. It's just not *that* bad, and I can mitigate some of the discomfort with movement, the heating pad, stretching exercises, magnesium helps with leg cramps, etc.
I used to be an avid exerciser but COVID has reduced my activity to a great degree - but my heart is still healthy and my BP under control.
Just wanted to share that experience for whatever it's worth. Good luck with trea
10/30/2017 Xgeva for bone mets 5/31/2018 Taxol finished! "If one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right” - Kierkegaard
8/3/2017, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
10/28/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab)
10/28/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab)
10/30/2017 Taxol (paclitaxel)
5/14/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
5/30/2019 External: Bone