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FLLoriK

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Reply with quote  #1 

My onc wanted me to take Tomoxifen after I was having SE from Aromosin. But I asked for Arimidex instead. She said okay but now I am wondering if I made the right decision.

Karen1956

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Lori - I'm currently on Aromasin - but I've tried all HT.  After chemo went on Arimidex but the joint pain was awful - developed severe CTS.  Took it for 7 1/2 months, then tried Femara for 4 weeks then Tamox for 2 months. the Tamox made me sick to my stomach. Decided I would rather suffer joint pain.  After a 3 week break, went back on Aromasin - have been on it since July 1st.  I have knee and knuckle pain - hands swell and leg cramps.  of course, insomnia, hot flashes etc.  I keep going back and forth whether I will continue AI's or not.  I see my onc next month.  Wishing you luck in your decision.  Karen

lizws

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Lori,

I don't have mets but I've been on Arimidex for almost 2 years.  I did have lots of joint pain in the beginning but it has subsided a bit.  I do take glucosamine and have found that it's worse when it's cool/cold. 

Did your oncologist say why she preferred the Tamox for you?

Hugs
Liz

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nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Lori,
After all the hullabaloo about me getting an ooph next and then on to Femera - he just sprung on me that he will want me to do Tamox first!
I don't know why there is this sudden interest in Tamox. He said if you are not in natural meno then it is better. But if you get an ooph you are in meno so what is the diff?
I am going to see if I can find out.
This looks like a good question for Edge in the Cutting Edge forum!


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Bren

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Reply with quote  #5 
Gina,

I did some checking on Adjuvant the other day.  I wanted to check the research on Tamox vs. ovarian ablation or oophrectomy (in my case) in post-menopausal women.  There wasn't any for post-menopausal women, BUT there was research on ovarian ablation or oophrectomy vs. tamox for PRE-menopausal women.  The percentage of benefit was the same for taking Tamoxifen and leaving your ovaries in or having an oophrectomy and NOT taking Tamoxifen or an AI.  For my age it was about 6.5% benefit.  If I hadn't had a total hystectomy, I would most likely still be premenopausal at 51, by family history.  I should clarify that I was looking at Stage I cancer. 

The benefit of an AI over Tamox is about another 3%. 

The difference in ovarian shutdown and oophrectomy is that one is quite possibly temporary and the other is permanent.  Unless you plan on children in the future, there is no reason to hang on to your ovaries.  Tamox doesn't stop estrogen production in the body.  It only prevents or "tricks" the cancer in the breasts, thereby keeping bc that is estrogen positive from growing in the breasts.  So if you still have your ovaries and are premenopausal, you still have estrogen in your system, just not reaching your breast tissue.  Of course the benefit of this is that we need estrogen for healthy bones.  The AI's shut down all estrogen production at the adrenal glands.  However, estrogen is stored in our fat cells, that's why all the focus on the low fat diet. 

I'm looking forward to Constantine's next installment as well.  Hopefully, he will present the actual numbers of participants in the studies, as well as the percentages.

Lori,  As you know, I don't have mets either.  We've talked about this before.  I'm currently not taking any HT.  My SE's were more than I can handle at this time. I was blessed that my tumor was .6 cm x .7 cm and my margins were .6 cm with no nodal involvement.  I'll talk to my med onco about it again.  Although, I was given an antinausea medication by my PCP that I couldn't tolerate, so maybe there is another alternative.  I'll check into it. 

I hope the Arimidex works for you.  Edge has been posting about Faslodex (sp) so maybe thats a good possibility too. I'm going to ask my onco about it too. 

Let us know how you're doing.  I think of you often and keep you in my prayers.

Love, Brenda in VA


nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #6 
Bren thank you!
I know my gyn will want to take out the ovaries. He has been wanting to for years. I have had so many operations on them for cysts it isn't even funny.
That was so nice of you to look that up for me!

Constantine will be updating his studies in a couple of days- I just heard from him.

To me, since I am already in chemo pause, I can't understand going back to full hormones only to get them stopped again. I would rather sneak in and take out the ovaries and be done with it!
I don't believe the hot flashes would be  worse than they are already now!
DEAR GOD I HOPE NOT!


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Bren

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Reply with quote  #7 

Hi G,

I was on HRT for six years after total hysterectomy and before my dx in March of this year.  Of course they stopped that on the spot!  After lumpectomy and rads, I had hotflashes that were pretty intense for about 2 months and then they lessened.  It's been 3 1/2 months and I hardly have them at all now.  I don't know how long the hotflashes last when you are on long term AI or Tamox. 

Geez, I hope they let you take those little suckers out!!!

PS - G, I plugged in different stats for Stage I, II and III into Adjuvant and the percentage benefit from an AI is still the same 9% vs. 6.5%, regardless of Stage.  The difference is, of course, in overall benefit from chemo and HT in Stages II, III and IV. 

FLLoriK

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Reply with quote  #8 
I just wanted to let you know I decided not to take anything until tomorrow. That will mean I will be drug free for 6 weeks. A little scary but what the hell.
I'm gonna try Arimidex. See how that works. I know it's just a stop over until I have more chemo. Onc says it's so I have some protection until I start chemo again in about 6 months. It's crazy!
I am chemo-pause with very little, if any, hot flashes. Should I push for an ooph? I asked about it a year ago and was discouraged to have it. Would that mean I won't have to take any HT? 

Happy Thanksgiving to all and keep our angels in your prayers!
Lori
Bren

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hi Lori,

Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

If you are in natural menopause you can take Arimidex and don't need to have your ovaries out. They have already stopped producing estrogen.  I had my uterus removed 15 years ago for other problems and my ovaries removed six years ago because they had developed into a cyst the size of a grapefruit.  At that time I was only 44, so that's why I was taking estrogen.  Hindsight of course, I should have just not taken them and gone into immediate menopause at that time. 

If I was in your situation, I would push for Arimidex, if you can tolerate the SE's, or possibly the medication Faslodex, that Constantine has been talking about.  Arimidex has a better effect on estrogen reduction than Tamoxifen does.  It actually stops it at adrenal glands and prevents estrogen from going anywhere in your body. 

The studies I read on Adjuvant were about premenopausal women (probably younger than say 50 years) and said that removing your ovaries had the same percentage effect (6.5% benefit) as keeping your ovaries in and taking Tamoxifen.  I don't know anything about chemo-pause and if that means you can still get your periods and have estrogen production come back at any time.  But, I do know a lot of premenopausal women take injections to shutdown their ovaries and then take Arimidex or one of the AI's.  I never considered taking Aromasin. 

I hope to give Arimidex another try.  I'll talk to the doctor about it again.  It does worry me though, as I already have GI issues, carpal tunnel syndrome and type for a living, as well as some vaginal stuff associated with menopause.  Getting old sucks even without cancer!!
 
Please let us know how you are doing and which medicine you go with.  I check over on this thread for you everyday to see how you are.

Love,
Bren 
FLLoriK

Angel
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Reply with quote  #10 
Thank you so much for thinking of me! I am so thankful for all the friends I have made here. Today I started Arimidex. I'm willing to give it a go!
The chemo put me in menopause but I was headed that way anyway. So yes, I am post menopause.
I am so tired of thinking about all this crap! But then my back starts aching, just to remind me the cancer is still there. I don't hear from my liver so no news is good news. Ha! I know the cancer is there too. Just sitting quietly.
Enjoy your holiday! Lori
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