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Old 08-23-2008, 11:41 AM   #1
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Laura B HB User
5 year pill therapy

Now and then I read on this board that patients have to go on arimidex/tamoifen etc. for as long as five years. I also read about the side effects.
I just finished my last chemo and my oncologist said that I'm "Hormone Receptor Negative" and don't have to take any pills. That made me very happy. On the other hand, I'm wondering what it all means, I forgot to ask her. Is it a good sign when you don't have to take these pills? I had a lumpectomy, lymphnodes involved.
Laura

Last edited by Laura B; 08-23-2008 at 11:43 AM.

 
Old 08-23-2008, 05:25 PM   #2
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leea1206 HB Userleea1206 HB User
Re: 5 year pill therapy

Hi Laura-

I am hormone receptor positive and am taking Femara (similar to Armidex).
From what I know the docs gear our treatment based on hormone status and also whether we tested + or- for the her2 gene.

I don't think hormone status of each person is necessarily good or bad, but just different.I've read that hormone negative ladies respond well to chemo. Hormone positive women may or maynot have chemo depending on several things re their tumor and they usually recommend, as you say, anti-hormone thereapy, as either tamox (premenopausal) or armidex, femara or aromasin ( aromatase inhibitors for post menopausal or those that cannot take tamox).

I have 3 more yrs to go on Femara and then am finished.
Leea

Last edited by leea1206; 08-23-2008 at 05:26 PM.

 
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:02 AM   #3
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sailingthecarib HB User
Re: 5 year pill therapy

I'm into my second year of arimidex - have you had any emotional issues (highs and lows) as a result of your med? The hot flashes are bad enough, but one minute I am screaming in frustration or anger, and the next happy as a clam in mud. It's wearing me (and my husband!) out.
Thanks,
chris

 
Old 06-19-2009, 08:17 PM   #4
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yoda1257 HB User
Re: 5 year pill therapy

I have not had any major emotional issues but plenty of hot flashes, joint problems like i'm 85 yrs old, instead of 50, amoung other things.

I am not surprised though, about all the different side effect women go through, on the aromatase inhibitors, like Armidex. - As I understand it, these drugs, cut off nearly all our estrogen, which is a good thing for any possible estrogen positive stray cancer cells, but not such a good thing for our body systemically.

I've read estrogen helps with mood, bones, heart health, blood pressure, vag dryness, joints, skin and of course hot flashes. - It's no wonder so many of us don't feel like ourselves on these drugs!

Leea

 
Old 07-06-2009, 03:41 PM   #5
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Carolynne57 HB User
Re: 5 year pill therapy

I have been on Arimidex for 2 mos. now. This past week I have been feeling extremely sore! I have also been getting pain in my elbows.
I was diagnosed in Jan. of this year with stage 1 DCIS, ER, PR +, her2neg and neg nodes. Had a lumpectomy and 33 rounds of radiation. Is the soreness going to be around for the next 5 years or is it temporary? My mood swings are really getting bad. I feel for my husband! Some days I'm happy as a lark then I'm crying and so depressed! HELP!

Thanks!
CK

 
Old 07-07-2009, 08:14 AM   #6
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sailingthecarib HB User
Re: 5 year pill therapy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carolynne57 View Post
I have been on Arimidex for 2 mos. now. This past week I have been feeling extremely sore! I have also been getting pain in my elbows.
I was diagnosed in Jan. of this year with stage 1 DCIS, ER, PR +, her2neg and neg nodes. Had a lumpectomy and 33 rounds of radiation. Is the soreness going to be around for the next 5 years or is it temporary? My mood swings are really getting bad. I feel for my husband! Some days I'm happy as a lark then I'm crying and so depressed! HELP!

Thanks!
CK
As bad as breast cancer is, your's appears to be so very treatable based on the specifics you provided - good for you!!

I've also had quite a bit of soreness, specifically at the elbows. Also some other muscle/ligament issues. My med onc explained that the arimidex irritates ligaments and causes tendinitis. However, there isn't any alternative to the 5 year misery that I have discovered. I went to an ortho for the elbow and trigger finger issues and she explained that because the pain and inflamation was diffuse throughout both joints, she could not diagnose it as "tennis elbow". Even if she were to give me a cortisone injection (which I have had in the past by another ortho), it would not solve the problem for more than a few months and then it would likely come back worse than before. (She works at Yale-New Haven in CT, which is an excellent teaching hospital with access to the latest information and treatment options). Her suggestion was physical therapy to build up the muscles that support the joints. The pain has lessened somewhat and I am at the gym 3 days a week doing the exercises and other happy horse s--t that you do at a gym. (Can you tell I'm not really a "gym person?")

Re the mood swings, I'm taking Trytophan, a natural supplement, on the advice of my trainer who is also a naturopath. (The trainer is supplied by Yale as part of a cancer study in which I am involved). It seems to have helped some, but I will admit that sometimes I just want to take more drugs. The only thing that stops me from going on another mood stabilizer is the thought of being "addicted" to a legal script. Another issue on another board - mental health.

You might try the natural supplement route - my trainer's email is * commercial email address and/or contact information removed by hb-mod, moderator *


I hope this has helped - let me know how you make out and good luck!

Chris

Last edited by hb-mod; 07-07-2009 at 09:09 AM. Reason: Please don't post contact info, such as email address, or commercial websites, per Posting Policy.

 
Old 07-22-2009, 07:36 PM   #7
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ritualangst HB User
Re: 5 year pill therapy

i am a two time breast cancer survivor who is hormone receptor positive- this means my tumor was fueled by estrogen and the treatment protocol for my kind of cancer is a lumpectomy or mastectomy (depending on tumor size) mine was 0.9 cms so i had a lumpectomy- chemo is also considered but with a tumor below 1.0 chemo was not recommended (fine by me)- with the smaller tumor and no lymph node involvment radiation is a must so i had 6 weeks of treatments with a "boost" at the end then was started on arimidex- i will reach my 5 year mark of arimidex in january of 2010 and will see what my oncologist suggests after that because the new studies are indicating 10 years of arimidex may be beneficial to hormone receptor positive cancer ( i cannot even go there thinking about 5 more years of arimidex but that is a totally different story) however hormone receptor negative breast cancer is treated in a completely different way and i know we are not allowed to post any other websites on these boards and i respect that but may i say DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH- there is SO much information out there for you about your type of cancer so please- learn as much as you possibly can- **********-

 
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