Anastrozole - is there a test to see if it is working?

Hi All

I have been prescribed Anastrozole for ten years.  I had DCIS that was invasive and also micro mets in two sentinal nodes.  Also prescribed Bisphosphonates but don’t seem to be able to take those due to side effects, although i keep trying from time to time.

Anyway i don’t get any side effects with the Anastrozole and I am just wondering if it is working?  Will the hospital do a blood test to check if it is working?  otherwise how do they know?



How long have you been taking it for?

You mention you keep trying to take bisphosphonates ‘from time to time’. Have you had a chat with your Oncologist and/or your Breast Care Nurse about this? The tablets are only effective if taken as prescribed. If you are having unacceptable side effects, there is the option of Zoledronic Acid infusions every sixth months which seem to be better tolerateld by many people.


Re knowing whether Anastrozole is working or not, the purpose of taking it is to block the production of Aromatase in our fat cells which itself is involved in the production of Oestrogen. The effect is to block the production of Oestrogen. It takes a few weeks for Oestrogen to leave your system altogether (you could check this with your Onc or your BCN) but that is the effect.


Some women are much more sensitive to the effects of Oestrogen depletion than others, so whether or not you have side effects is not an indicator of the effectiveness of the Anastrozole.


If you have a word with your Onc or your BCN you could put your mind at rest.