Women who don't have BRCA mutations could have other high-risk genes that affect treatment choices
by Roz57 on Mon Sep 12, 2005 12:00 AM
by Jeano on Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:00 AM
by Chesnee on Sun Oct 02, 2005 12:00 AM
by Roz57 on Sun Oct 02, 2005 12:00 AM
by Charmaine_Marie on Sat Jul 21, 2007 12:00 AM
On 10/2/2005 Roz57 wrote:Thanks for your message regarding side effects of Arimidex. I am taking my last Arimidex tomorrow and start Aromasin as from Tuesday, I can but try something different although the oncologist said I may get even worse side effects - I am willing to take the chance as I cannot stand the pain with Arimidex. Are you taking anything at all or have you just come off everything? I am too scared to do that as I do not want the cancer to come back. I don't know if you are interested but I have found a brilliant web site in UK called www.breastcancercare.co.uk and there are loads of ladies who are very helpful in answering problems etc, they even have a coffee room, have a look at it. Regards Roz.
I was 51 years old when I was diagnosed with estrogen +ve breast cancer in 2004 - had mastectomy + chemo (nodes free) - Tamoxifen for two years - no side effects except hot flushes (which started with the chemo). Then doc changed me to Aromasin in January 2007, and in March the joint pain started. By June I could hardly walk, could not climb stairs, open jars or work taps (faucets) - thin sensitive skin etc. My life was a misery. Upon investigation, I found that aromatase inhibitors (AI's) all seem to have these side effects (on over 60% of users!). The drug companies underplay these effects, which seem to be a result of extremely low estrogen levels. In my case, the relative advantage of an AI over tamoxifen is negligible.
At the end of June I persuaded my doc to change me back to tamoxifen, and despite the hot flushes, I am once again a very happy person, feeling my normal cheerful self - no joint pains, etc.
Tamoxifen does not stop the formation of estrogen, but blocks any cancer cell from "eating" estrogen. The drug looks like estrogen, but is slightly different. Once a cancer cell has taken a bite of tamoxifen, it can't spit it out, nor can it "swallow" it, so the cell starves to death. This is my interpretation, anyway. Therefore theoretically, tamoxifen works with estrogen +ve cancer cells without interfering too much with the hormone levels in our bodies. We need a certain amount of estrogen to function properly.
I feel that the drug companies are throwing out the baby with the bathwater as far as AI's are concerned, especially with regard to women who have no problem with the "old" tried and trusted tamoxifen.
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