Women With Breast Cancer No Longer Have to Settle for Second Cl...

Full story: Med Ad News

Today the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence published a positive Final Appraisal Document on the class of breast cancer drugs known as aromatase inhibitors post surgery.

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marilyntabor

United States

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#1
Aug 13, 2006
 
I have been taking arimidex for 3 months and I hurt all over. My lower back aches,my knees are stiff,my hands and fingers feel tight and swollen. All I want to do is lay around all the time because I feel so achy and tired all the time. I wish I had some answers. I had stage II breast cancer. I've had a double mastectomy with a tram-flap breast reconstruction (which was very painful). I don't won't to take a chance on a reacurrance but I don't think I'm going to be able to take this drug for five years. I'm 59 and I don't want to feel bad for the next five years.
Carol French Johnson

United States

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#2
Aug 13, 2006
 
I remember the swelling when I initially went on the drug over a year ago. That seemed to get better gradually. It was't a problem in winter. Not so with the joint pains, but on this forum somehwere there is a message from a woman who has been on Arimidex for 4 1/2 years--she says the pain lessens, and I think that fact offers us optimism.
Kathleen Fairfield Ohio

AOL

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#4
Aug 22, 2006
 
marilyntabor wrote:
I have been taking arimidex for 3 months and I hurt all over. My lower back aches,my knees are stiff,my hands and fingers feel tight and swollen. All I want to do is lay around all the time because I feel so achy and tired all the time. I wish I had some answers. I had stage II breast cancer. I've had a double mastectomy with a tram-flap breast reconstruction (which was very painful). I don't won't to take a chance on a reacurrance but I don't think I'm going to be able to take this drug for five years. I'm 59 and I don't want to feel bad for the next five years.
I don't understand why you are taking this drug if you have had both breasts removed as the drug is to prevent estrogen from getting to the tumors in your breast to feed them!!! I have considered having my breasts removed because my doctor told me I would no longer have to take this stuff if i did. Why are you still on it? I woud be interested in your doctors explanation for prescribing. Isee my oncologist today. i will inquire about this.
Kathleen Scott

Wallingford, VT

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#5
Aug 27, 2006
 
I have been taking Arimidex for seven months. Initially I had headaches and joint pain. The headaches subsided and the swelling set in along with wicked hot flashes; much worse than anything I had going through menopause!! Recently I developed hives on my back and abdomen. In addiation to Arimidex I take Crestor and vitamins (primarily calcium and "D". I went off of everything a week ago and (as of two days ago) I feel much better. I had stage I breast cancer. I need to decide if I m going to go back on the medication. Like Marilyn I struggle with feeling so awful for five years vs the risk of a recurrence. Any input appreciated.
Liz

Gateshead, UK

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#6
Aug 28, 2006
 
Kathleen Scott wrote:
I have been taking Arimidex for seven months. Initially I had headaches and joint pain. The headaches subsided and the swelling set in along with wicked hot flashes; much worse than anything I had going through menopause!! Recently I developed hives on my back and abdomen. In addiation to Arimidex I take Crestor and vitamins (primarily calcium and "D". I went off of everything a week ago and (as of two days ago) I feel much better. I had stage I breast cancer. I need to decide if I m going to go back on the medication. Like Marilyn I struggle with feeling so awful for five years vs the risk of a recurrence. Any input appreciated.
Nobody so far has mentioned the possibility of going on, or back, to Tamoxifen.
Is this not an option I wonder?
elena

Canada

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#7
Sep 6, 2006
 
yep, alot of joint pain/bone here too. the worse is when i sit for a while and then get up. start to walk side to side. getting out of the hair is brutal too.
Ronnie

Saint George, UT

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#8
Sep 7, 2006
 
Kathleen Scott wrote:
I have been taking Arimidex for seven months. Initially I had headaches and joint pain. The headaches subsided and the swelling set in along with wicked hot flashes; much worse than anything I had going through menopause!! Recently I developed hives on my back and abdomen. In addiation to Arimidex I take Crestor and vitamins (primarily calcium and "D". I went off of everything a week ago and (as of two days ago) I feel much better. I had stage I breast cancer. I need to decide if I m going to go back on the medication. Like Marilyn I struggle with feeling so awful for five years vs the risk of a recurrence. Any input appreciated.
I also have been on for 7 months, I have joint pains and feel OLD suddenly,getting up and down, my knees hurt and my legs are sensitive. my oncologists dismisses my pains since it is not casuing my hands to not open! I just stopped myself, and will monitor my situation. I too had stage 1 breast cancer,had a mastectomy with tissue expander reconstruction. No chemo or radiation.
Asim Ahmed Elnour

Dubai, UAE

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#9
Oct 16, 2006
 
My mother inlaw had mastectomy 5 years ago. She stopped now a five year tamoxifen. She is not complaining at all. An expert has adviced us to take LEtrozole (Femara) for life? What is your opinion.
Carol Lane

Leesburg, VA

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#10
Oct 16, 2006
 
I was told that Femara also was good for five years, just like Tamoxifen.
Shirley Brush

Gilbert, AZ

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#11
Oct 28, 2006
 
I have been taking Arimidex for Ten years. I was first on Tamoxifen for three years, then the cancer came back and Tamoxifen was changed to Arimidex. I have and still suffer from pain and striffness in hands wrist and feet. Did not know all my problems are being caused by the medication till reading all this info and reading the side affects. I have been on oxygen for three years at night and 24 - 7 in the mountians, with no reason for the breathing problems. osteoporosis, hair loss, cataracts, cholesterol, vaginal dryness. It is not worth it. The Arimidex was new when I started taking it and the drug companies do not know how it affect you with long term use. I have an appointment next week and will discuss the complications of going off the drug.
Anzie Lawlor

Ireland

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#12
Nov 11, 2006
 
Arimidex is not just about preventing breast tumors but is also a treatment for metastatic breast cancer.
Kathleen Fairfield Ohio wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't understand why you are taking this drug if you have had both breasts removed as the drug is to prevent estrogen from getting to the tumors in your breast to feed them!!! I have considered having my breasts removed because my doctor told me I would no longer have to take this stuff if i did. Why are you still on it? I woud be interested in your doctors explanation for prescribing. Isee my oncologist today. i will inquire about this.
Anzie Lawlor

Ireland

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#13
Nov 11, 2006
 
If I'm idle for an hour or two my fingers swell up and I can't remove my rings. Is this just another side affect of 4 months on Arimidex/Zometa or is it a sign that my heart isn't in great shape. Apart from this and stiff joints I have loads of energy.
Britt-Louise

Malmö, Sweden

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#14
Nov 13, 2006
 
I've been on arimidex for ten months now. Before that on tamoxifen for 6 months. I changed drugs because of unbearable night-sweats and insomnia.I have experienced most of the symtoms you all describe, joint-pain, weight gain, swelling of feet and hands plus obstipation and problems that go along with that(any one with bowel problems?) Vaginal dryness and lack of libido, yes.... One really need a caring partner not to "take the easy way out" and say no thanks to sex. Time off in your agenda and some vaginal-gel makes wonders.
My doctors did not inform me about any side-effects in particular before the medication (arimidex) began. If I confront them with lists of what I consider are side-effects and with information I have found myself (from the internet, mostly) they agree to the fact that these side-effects have been reported. What next?
Thanks for this Forum, by the way!
Susan Eddy

Gainesville, GA

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#15
Nov 14, 2006
 
I had stage one breast cancer and following a lumpectomy and sentinal node removal (3 nodes removed-no cancer there) I had 6 sessions of chemo (when horrible joint/tendon pain/stiffnes started after the 4th session)and then 33 radiation sessions and then Tamoxifin for 2 yrs and Aromasin for the last 4 months. I am recommended to stay on the Aromasin for 3 yrs.
I was pari-menopausal when the cancer was found(estrogen positive). I can not believe the effect all this has had on me-I am only 50 yrs old and can hardly move in the morning or after sitting for an hour or so.Sometimes I am emabarrased about how I have to move when I take my first few steps.
I have been in and out of Physical Therapy (currently in) and take a lot of vitamins and minerals and a healthy diet (although I have gained 25 pds that are really hard to loose.) My hands and elbows and feet are tender and swollen. Now my knees are hurting too. This makes it hard to excersice but I keep at it anyway.
My oncologists denied that chemo did this to me. However my Rhumotologists says she hears this from other cancer pts.
I am a positive person and don't like to complain but I think it is important that those of us who KNOW the truth need to speak up to the drug companies and the doctors.
Jhon Welesley

India

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#16
Nov 20, 2006
 
Yeah i have heard about side effects of medicines like
arimidex.

But not only this many other medicines used to treat cancers have side effects.

Its better to have safest medicines as far as possible.

Choosing the best doctor is the vital issue here.
oman

Yaphank, NY

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#17
Nov 21, 2006
 
I had right breast radical mastectomy with 2 lymph nodes. I had Chemo, on Tamoxifen 1 1/2 years then switched to Arimidex, now for 3 yrs. Yes aches and pain since, wrist swollen, stiff joints, muscle pains in lower back, fatigue but it seems it is less now... I have probably gotten used to the aches/pain. I wish someone could tell me how to have some relief. I do not want to stop taking it as I guess I kind of depend on the drug to avoid recurrence?!?! In fact, I will ask my oncologist if I could continue taking it beyond 5 yrs.
oman

Yaphank, NY

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#18
Nov 21, 2006
 
Kathleen Fairfield Ohio wrote:
<quoted text>
I don't understand why you are taking this drug if you have had both breasts removed as the drug is to prevent estrogen from getting to the tumors in your breast to feed them!!! I have considered having my breasts removed because my doctor told me I would no longer have to take this stuff if i did. Why are you still on it? I woud be interested in your doctors explanation for prescribing. Isee my oncologist today. i will inquire about this.


In response to Kathleen, If you are estrogen positive
it is suggested that Arimidex is indicated to block estrogen, attacking cells not only on the breast but other part of your body. The drug is not helpful for people who are estrogen negative.
Lynn

Raleigh, NC

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#19
Nov 21, 2006
 
I have stopped taking Arimidex after having my cholesterol shoot to 280! I have always had perfect cholesterol scores! My oncologist THEN mentioned that it(Arimidex) could be putting me at a high risk for heart desease because of the cholesterol increases since being on it (2 yrs). I have decided to stop this drug altogether. I was 5 yrs on Tamoxifen and did not have any problems on it. I have also stopped Boniva---this drug caused such bone and joint pain for about a week after my monthly dosage that I figured I would watch my calcium intake and keep up with the Vitamin D. My hand pain is almost nonexistent now that I am off it---some flare-ups when the weather changes or is cold. Vaginal dryness and low libido were also a problem with Arimidex. I am looking into having my left breast tissue replaced with an implant and not having to worry about breast cancer again.(Hopefully!) I had a rt mastectomy in 1999 and I am 60 yrs old. Can't imagine that my body is producing a heck of a lot of hormones anyway that need to be blocked!!(I also have had a hysterectomy many yrs ago so no problem there.) I am happy to see that we women are questioning the side effects of these inhibitors!
Mary

United States

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#20
Nov 22, 2006
 
I have taken Arimidex for almost 5 years, and may continue after 5 because of fear of recurrence. Many in my family have died of different types of cancer. Initially I had the terrible pain and stiffness in my feet and ankles. I had some physical therapy for my feet in the first year, and was given Celebrex for the pain, but stopped that after the bad reports. Didn't go thru cancer treatments to die of a heart attack. In the ensuing years, the probs with feet have subsided, and I'm not sure if it was the Arimidex, the chemo, or standing all day teaching that caused the prob, but I am grateful to be rid of it I did walk several times a week and took an oxy-breathing class all this time, and that may have helped. Now I will just have to read everything available on continuing Arimidex and play the odds on continuing with it.
Lynn

Raleigh, NC

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#21
Nov 23, 2006
 
Mary wrote:
I have taken Arimidex for almost 5 years, and may continue after 5 because of fear of recurrence. Many in my family have died of different types of cancer. Initially I had the terrible pain and stiffness in my feet and ankles. I had some physical therapy for my feet in the first year, and was given Celebrex for the pain, but stopped that after the bad reports. Didn't go thru cancer treatments to die of a heart attack. In the ensuing years, the probs with feet have subsided, and I'm not sure if it was the Arimidex, the chemo, or standing all day teaching that caused the prob, but I am grateful to be rid of it I did walk several times a week and took an oxy-breathing class all this time, and that may have helped. Now I will just have to read everything available on continuing Arimidex and play the odds on continuing with it.
Mary! I read in the News and Observer today about heart attacks concerning women on Boniva. Wow!! I think it is important that all of us know the risks concerning this bone drug. Lynn R. Wake Forest

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