Half of breast cancer patients stop t...

Half of breast cancer patients stop taking hormone drugs early

There are 4 comments on the USA Today story from Jun 28, 2010, titled Half of breast cancer patients stop taking hormone drugs early. In it, USA Today reports that:

Half of breast cancer patients stop taking key medications ahead of schedule, a decision that can increase their risk of relapse and death, a new study shows.

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Since: Feb 10

Gibsonton, FL

#1 Jun 28, 2010

They think we stop taking something that could save our lives because "we don't want to reminded we had cancer?" UNBELIEVABLE!!!

The AI's are BRUTAL. THAT'S why we stop taking them -- because they're so very, very hard to live with! That's the reason! I stuck it out for two years but the side effects were absolutely ruining my life.

Tamoxifen was even worse.

These researchers need to get their heads out of their own psychobabble nonsense and listen to the women asked to take these chemical clubs. AI's were far worse for me than chemotherapy. Chemo was a cakewalk compared to AI's and it's about time someone started speaking the truth instead of making up inane, absurd reasons.

And, by the way, there aren't always ways to manage the side effects. The hot flashes are completely debilitating outdoors in the summertime. The utter and complete lack of sex drive is far more intrusive in one's life than those who have not taken AI's can possibly imagine. The joint pains? Watch your PCP panic that the cancer has spread to your bones when you have all this unexplained pain. For me, they magnified pain, which only set my PCP off more. Unnecessary tests that find nothing ... because it was a MINOR injury, or no injury at all, just phantom pain. Over and over.

So on top of it all, you look like a hypochondriac.

And this nimrod of a researcher thinks it's because women are too weeny to face the fact that they've had cancer?

Heaven save me from such "experts." On the one hand I'm glad people like that are in research instead of actually talking to patients, but on the other hand, they are influencing important research.

I know I had breast cancer every time I shower. There's no getting away from that. I know that AI's save lives. If there were ANY way I could tolerate them believe me, I'd be taking them.

Sometimes the worst part of having had breast cancer is the stupid things people think up to say about it. When the stupid statements come from experts, that's distressing.
Gail Perry

Tampa, FL

#2 Oct 29, 2010
I promised I would report back.

I went off Arimidex about a year ago. Within a couple of months, while washing my hair, I could feel little bristly stubs of hair in my scalp.

Now I have clear proof that I have hair growing back since I stopped Arimidex. In front of my "Arimidex hairline is a whole line of hair, now about 3" long. I think these hair also exist behind that hair line because you can't see my scalp as clearly as you could a year ago.

There's absolutely no doubt in my head now: Arimidex depresses hair growth (my hair also grew *extremely* slowly while I was on Arimidex).

Victoria, Canada

#3 Oct 31, 2010
I agree with you, Gail. I've been told that I could benefit from hormone-blocking drugs, but I don't want to take them. I don't want five years of my life ruined in addition to what I've already been through. And discomfort isn't the only issue here. Some of those drugs have really dangerous side effects. They can cause strokes, blood clots, or osteoporosis. A person who takes them could just be exchanging one serious disease for another, and even with the drugs there is no guarantee that the cancer will not come back.

Maybe I would feel differently if I were high risk, but I was told that I had a low-grade, fairly low risk cancer.

As for being reminded of the cancer: the scars on my breast and armpit are enough for that!
Gail Perry

Atlanta, GA

#4 Oct 31, 2010
Well I had no problem fending off osteoporosis with a once a year infusion. that was the least of my problems, and any risk of stroke or heart attack was MUCH lower than the risk of the breast cancer recurring or worse, spreading. You really aren't just exchanging one serious risk for another without considering the likliehood of each problem occurring.

Discomfort was the issue for me. The side effects were not serious physically but they were intense and more than I could live with -- literally.

You touched on what I thought was so idiotic about the article -- how can a person ever forget they've had breast cancer? It was an absurd statement and makes me wish that some researchers were truck drivers or something.

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