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Topic: Kava Root and ER+/PR+ Breast Cancer

Forum: Stage IV and Metastatic Breast Cancer ONLY —

A place for those managing the ups & downs of a Stage IV/metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. Please respect that this forum is for Stage IV members only. There is a separate forum For Family and Caregivers of People with a STAGE IV Diagnosis.

Posted on: Dec 7, 2017 02:49PM

GG22 wrote:

I am needing something to relieve extreme anxiety.  I have been researching and came across kava root.  I can find nothing in my Ibrance or Letrozole information that leads me to believe there is an interaction other than with the liver but then again I do not plan on living on the stuff.  I am however concerned about the estrogen that it may contain.  Does anyone have any knowledge of this?  Any advice would be much appreciated.  

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Dec 7, 2017 05:40PM - edited Dec 7, 2017 05:40PM by DivineMrsM

GG, why not ask your doctor for anti anxiety medicine?

I had extreme anxiety the first year I was diagnosed. It took me awhile to realize that was what I was feeling. The doctor had prescribed an antidepressant which made me feel horrible. I was given several others which were also awful for me. I finally was able to put my feelings into words, recognizing I hadanxiety and not depression and it was the nurse practitioner who prescribed buspar, an antianxiety medicine that is non addicting.

My anxiety had been so bad I could barely get off the sofa. I could not think straight. When I began buspar, I suddenly heard the birds chirping outside and got off the sofa and went and washed dishes and cleaned my kitchen, looking outthe window at the birds. I was finally able to move forward with living. I could not have done it with herbal supplements, prayer or meditation. I still can feel anxiety try to creep up on me, but I recognize it and am able to get busy, find something to occupy my mind, and the anxiety goes away. I could not do that without buspar.

There are other antianxiety meds, too. That was what worked for me. Please, speak with your doctor. There is no shame in it and there is no reason at all to tough it out. I had to swallow my pride, as I had rarely ever taken any kinds of medicine until mbc as up till then I was pretty healthy. The other side of that coin is that in taking the antianxiety medicine, it was easier for my family. I was not a basket case they had to deal with. We could have more normal interactions. It really added to my daily quality of life, and my family's quality of life. I was not going to let friggin mbc take that away from me,

found lump 12/22/10~er+/pr+/her2- stage iv bone mets~chemo~lumpectomy~radiation~arimidex~ "The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places."
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Dec 7, 2017 05:51PM MelissaDallas wrote:

Memorial Sloan Kettering has a nice Integrative Medicine supplement and herbs research section on their website.

Here is a link:


NOTE from the page on kava:

  • Although kava may provide short-term relief for anxiety, the risk of liver damage outweighs any benefits.

LCIS, extensive sclerosing adenosis, TAH/BSO & partial omentectomy for mucinous borderline ovarian tumor.
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Dec 8, 2017 09:30AM GG22 wrote:

Thank you DivineMrsM - I gave it a lot of thought and decided that since I am already polluting my body with Ibrance and Letrozole, I did not wish to add another pharmaceutical into the mix.  I have been reading a lot about the emergence of these pharmaceuticals into society and I am in agreement that it is all about money.  Todays drugs are very effective in reducing and keeping cancer under control but at the same time they are detrimental to our health in other ways.  I have lived with anxiety my entire life so I will keep searching for something more natural that works.  Meditation does help a lot for which I am thankful.  Thank you so much for replying.  I will make sure to discuss this with my physician just to get her opinion though.  Have a great weekend.   :)

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Dec 8, 2017 10:22PM JFL wrote:

GG, I don't know about the estrogen link but used to take kava years ago. However, I stopped as it had been linked to liver toxicity and hadn't been well-studied at that point or well controlled/standardized. There are other supplements and herbs with anxiety-reducing properties with less controversy - I would suggest valerian or 5-htp.

Chart your own course. Dx at 30. Dx with mets at 38 while pregnant. Extensive liver and bone involvement. Currently on Doxil and XGeva. Recently had Y90 liver radioembolization. ER+/PR+, HER2 equivocal (IHC)/negative (FISH) as of 8/2017 liver biopsy. Dx 9/2006, IDC, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/22/2006 Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 11/5/2006 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 3/15/2007 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 12/2014, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver/other, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/26/2014 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 12/26/2014 Aromasin (exemestane), Faslodex (fulvestrant) Targeted Therapy 6/18/2015 Ibrance (palbociclib) Chemotherapy 3/10/2016 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 5/13/2017 Aromasin (exemestane) Targeted Therapy 5/13/2017 Afinitor (everolimus) Chemotherapy 8/18/2017 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 3/23/2018 Doxil (doxorubicin) Radiation Therapy 4/9/2018 Liver

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