Asked by jojosmom on Thursday, June 6, 2013


    I've done lumpectomy,chemo and rad. My oncologist thought I was pre menopausal and had talked about starting tamoxifen. She did blood work and it showed I am post menopausal. I see her again on tues. What are some meds usually prescribed for this? I want to be prepared when I go in there. I am ER PR pos. She also said the only way to check if this has returned or spread is thru a mammogram.

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      I don't know if there are meds that you take post treatment as I have triple negative BC. I do know you will need more than just a mammogram to find out if your cancer has returned or spread. you will probably need PET and/ or bone and/ or CT scans. I don't want to frighten you, but the day after a clean mammogram a MRI picked up a BC lesion on my liver. My follow up mammograms have all been clean since then and treatment has shrunk the lesion by over 90%

      over 4 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      If you are post menopausal, you can still take tamoxifen...if is for pre/post

      The other meds are AI's (aromatase inhibitors)...Arimidex, Femara or Aromasin......

      over 4 years ago
    • JennyMiller's Avatar

      I am ER+ and PR+. I am post menopausal and I take Arimidex. I just had follow-up Bone Scan and CT Scans whereby no evidence of cancer was found.

      over 4 years ago
    • attypatty's Avatar

      Dear jojosmom:
      There are four aromatase inhibitors (AIs) for postmenopausal women with estrogen positive BC - Arimidex, Aromasin, Femara and Faslodex. These are the brand names and the respective generic names are anastrozole, exemestane, letrozole and fulvestrant. The first three work by repressing the production of estrogen. Faslodex works by blocking the estrogen receptors. Tamoxifen, on the other hand, suppresses the uptake of estrogen, which is why it is used for pre-menopausal women, since it would be harder to repress estrogen production while the ovaries are active. Arimidex and Femara are non-steroidal AIs. Aromasin is a steroid AI. All three of these are once a day pill for 5 years. Faslodex is a once a month shot administered by your doctor, also, I think, for 5 years.
      Usually, the first choice will be Arimidex. It is the cheapest of the four and I think that's the reason. Out of the four, it usually has the worst side effects. Not every one has side effects, but if you do experience side effects, insist on trying one of the other therapies.
      I had to try three - Arimidex, which was awful, nearly crippling; Aromasin, which has the least effects, I like the best, but I had an allergic reaction after a few weeks; now on Femara, which is not as bad as Arimidex but worse than Aromasin. My onc offered me Faslodex, but I'm not ready to be tied to a once a month visit to get a shot, at least not yet.
      Be aware that there are options. They all may have similar side effects and often it is only a matter of degree. But, as my onc say, this part of the treatment is a marathon and you have to be able to go the distance. So if the first option cause side effects that you simply cannot bear, insist on trying something else. Chances are your onc will offer alternatives if you are suffering, but if he/she doesn't, then ask about trying one of the others. Good luck and
      Fight On,

      over 4 years ago
    • Ladykarla's Avatar

      I can tell you my treatment plan if it will help you. I was triple positive. I had a double mastectomy. I had chemo, then radiation. The radiation is finished and my doctor gave me some down time before he is having me start Evista. I start it on June 20th. It is a hormone blocker and it treats osteoporosis at the same time. I am 52 and the chemo threw me into menopause. I am still on Herceptin every three weeks until November. I start reconstruction fairly soon. It depends on what my plastic surgeon wants to do. My oncologist is one smart cookie and I trust him completely. My plastic surgeon is also the best in the business. I suggest you talk with your oncologist about what your individual treatment plan is. I will be getting CAT scans every so often to see if my breast cancer has come back. I hope this helps you. Let us know what your people say. It helps all of us here. Thanks for sharing with us.

      over 4 years ago
    • MarnieC's Avatar

      First of all, let's give a shout out to attypatty who summed up aromatase inhibitors REALLY well for us! Secondly, I will share with you that I had IDC as well, 9 yrs ago, said yes to chemo, no to radiation, and chose no AIs, no Tamoxifen but a score of other things instead. I'm not saying you should do what I did, I'm just sharing with you that cancer is NOT all about estrogen. There are plenty of natural ways to manage it if you're not excited about taking drugs. If you'd like my website address (where I teach about such things), just let me know. Sending hugs to you - I know all these questions and dilemmas are hard and confusing.

      over 4 years ago
    • jvbaseballmom2's Avatar

      I was on tamoxifan for 5 years, and now I am on femara. I had to have my ovaries removed in order to get on femara (letrozole), as you have to be post-menopausal for it to be effective. Best of luck to you.

      over 4 years ago

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