• No chemo, no radiation. Should I take Arimidex consideringall the side effects?

    Asked by Kentucky on Saturday, September 29, 2018

    No chemo, no radiation. Should I take Arimidex consideringall the side effects?

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      It is hormone-based chemotherapy and is normally used in conjunction with other standard treatments. Have you opted out of standard therapy or do you have co-morbidities?

      about 1 year ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      Not everyone gets all the side effects. I've been on it five years and I just have some mild hot flashes.

      about 1 year ago
    • jillybean56's Avatar
      jillybean56

      Wow Kentucky, so sorry. Did they stage you, do scans for mets, etc.? And how do you feel overall? It is very scary for sure, but you need to have all your answers before you make any decisions. There are natural supplements that will either suppress or stimulate estrogen, so you need to know what is going on. They can help without side effects. The drug you speak of is powerful stuff, you want to do your research, and in all seriousness, not from the pharma that makes it. Look at scientific studies, not done by the pharma.

      Can only tell you that if you do have bad side effects, and you elect to stop tx, they will stay with you for many months. It is an extremely personal decision that only you can make. Well meaning friends will tell you to do everything you can, will they be there should you have bad side effects? You must have support.

      You also must be informed before going into anything. And perhaps get a second or even third opinion. With that being said, there are many who can tolerate chemical tx, and can buy you time and even quiet things down. If you have been told, like I was, that your cancer is incurable, you do have a huge decision, and would definitely go for other opinions. No one tho, will be able to give you a for sure...no one. And I will probably get a lot of flack for saying that, but it is the truth.

      Only thing I can tell you is to be smart, be informed and if you want to take the risk, go for it. But also do look into natural supps, perhaps even consult a naturopathic doc so you have all of your options laid out. Go into anything you choose with your eyes wide open and not out of desperation or what anyone insists or scares you into doing. Only you can make the decision. If you are trying to suppress estrogen, there are quite a few other options. You need to investigate them all. Good luck to you, research, research. It takes a little time, but if you stick with it, you can do it within days.

      about 1 year ago
    • Jouska's Avatar
      Jouska

      That is really a conversation for you and your oncologist. From your profile it appears you are stage 1 and based on the type of breast cancer and other factors, do not need chemo or radiation? If that is the case, how wonderful for you!!!! I have been on Arimidex for almost 4 years now and have had minimal side effects. To be honest I had more of a long term impact from the chemo and surgery. I was HER2+ so chemo and herceptin were a given. Just what it is and I am grateful for all the treatment I have received. I am still here kicking and enjoying life!

      about 1 year ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      Go for it. It's the only weapon in the arsenal for Stage IAcER+/HER2- bc where chemo & rads wouldn't be appropriate (why no rads--did you get mastectomy or lumpectomy? For the latter, rads are necessary). Not everyone gets side effects (I'm on letrozole, and mine are minimal) and you can always try different generic mfrs. and the other AIs like exemestane & letrozole.

      about 1 year ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      And there are many ways to deal with side effects--for instance, CBD oil or balm (legal in all 50 states, doesn't cause a "high"), and acupuncture for joint pain.

      about 1 year ago
    • gpgirl70's Avatar
      gpgirl70

      There are three aromatase inhibitors to choose from plus tamoxifen. I was post menopausal after chemo so my doctor recommended an aromatase inhibitor (Arimidex/anastrozole). I had horrific side effects in the form of joint and bone pain. After a month break, my doctor started me on Aromasin/exemestane. I have had no side effects and I've been on it for two years now. Some folks report the opposite, side effects with exemestane and none with anastrozole. If you have side effects you can always try another.

      I am a big fan of alternative therapies, however, I do not fool around with supplements, food, or herbs which have any estrogenic or anti-estrogenic effects. These therapies have not been through clinical trials and those of us with hormone receptor positive cancer really need to watch that what we put in our bodies is not estrogenic. Like I said, I really believe in the power of food and alternative therapies to heal but always warn fellow breast cancer survivors about alternative therapies which claim to reduce estrogen etc because many actually have the opposite effect.

      about 1 year ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      I'm with you on the supplements/foods/herbs that might possibly have estrogenic effects or impair the effectiveness of aromatase inhibitors. But I always run them past my MO first. I asked her if industrial-hemp-derived CBD was contraindicated for use with letrozole and she said no--if it helps with pain it's fine for me to use. The private doctor who certified my pending MMJ card application (my primary's and cancer care team's hospital systems won't allow them to certify MMJ applications) advised I make sure that in any edibles I buy the ratio of THC to CBD must be no higher than 1:8 (i.e., no more than 12% THC) because there are theories that THC might have estrogenic effects. (No smoking or vaping--I'm asthmatic).

      I also asked her about soy. She said that occasional amounts of edamame and minimally-processed soy like tofu or soymilk are fine; but that highly-processed soy (seitan, Boca Burgers, fake meat, soy protein isolate) can concentrate the phytoestrogens (genistein) and make them less "phyto." Also, domestically-grown soy has more genistein than that grown in Asia, especially Japan (explains why the incidence of bc in Japan is so much lower than here, even though soy consumption there is much higher).

      about 1 year ago
    • Kentucky's Avatar
      Kentucky

      Just an update on my decision. I do thank everyone for your comments and opinions. They were very helpful and instrumental in helping me make my decision. I have decided to not take the medication. There are just too many side effects that I am not willing to risk. I will be changing my way of eating. Basically plant based foods. Mostly raw or juiced. Very little meat., cut out sugar and all soy products. Minimal dairy. Lots of salads in my future. I have read lots of testimonials and prayed about this. I am comfortable with my decision.

      12 months ago
    • jillybean56's Avatar
      jillybean56

      And Kentucky, you can always change your mind at anytime. Sure you put a lot of thought and research into your decision. If you have not seen already, there are good sites that give you lists of foods that help fight cancer without trying to sell you anything, and give good explanations as to why these foods help. A few are good organic dark chocolate, organic coffee, and organic bing cherries. Yum, not hard to deal with that! And of course good quality marijuana and organic CBD. If you elect to take supplements, do read all the ingredients, it is amazing how some supposedly "pure" companies sneak a whole bunch of stuff into their supps, where only 3 or 4 are needed. When I took RX magnesium, peeled back the label and there were 25 ingredients, including artificial colors, flavorings and preservatives. Found organic source online with exactly 3 ingredients. Have sources if you need, don't want to try to sell you anything, just give you info if you need. Yes, do watch estrogen producers and go for protease inhibitors. Most of the supps are fairly inexpensive if you have the right source. You may want to consult with a naturopath if it all confuses you, can be a lot to digest, and then research what they have recommended so you are double check. Good luck to you, if you need more info, will be happy to point you in one direction anyway. And remember, you can change your mind anytime you want to, or not. Jill

      12 months ago

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