Can arimidex help

Hi All,

Just wanted some advice please. My mother has been rediagnosed today with secondaries to the stomach, chest and possible leg and arm. She had undergone a mascetomy 10years ago followed by chemo and alls been well. However, following some worrying symptons she went for a pet scan. This has confirmed deposits. Mums consultant has said that the scan showed minute deposits in the limbs and that as her previous cancer was homone receptive they would start her on the treatment before she sees the oncologist. He said that he could not cure her but possibly halt the disease. Is this correct? We all feel quite desperate and badly need some hope. I thought it might be a good sign that they didnt start chemo straight away or is this because its a no hoper. HELP!

Hello belin

So sorry to hear about your mum. Yes it is true that secondary breast cancer cannot be cured but that is certainly not saying it is a no hoper! The strategy now will be that your mum’s doctor will try out a range of treatments all with the aim of reducing the size of her tumours. As your mum’s cancer is hormone receptive then there are several hormonal treatwents to try out and this is often done before trying the chemotherapy options. Arimidex is one of those hormone tretaments and there are several others (e.g femara) in a class of drugs called aramotase inhibitors.

There are many stories on this site of people living well with secondaries for many months, several years, and in some cases many years. Your mum has quite a lot of treatment options. One good prognostic sign is that it is 10 years since your mum’s original cancer…this can mean that the cancer will continue to spread more slowly than if it was an aggressive disaese which had returned after say a year.

BCC do a good resources pack on secondary breast cancer. Your mum and your family are bound to be in shock right now and there is certainly plenty of hope out there for treating and managing her cancer for a long time.

I hope you’ll soon get some replies from women who have been living with secondary breast cancer for quite a while.

very best wishes


Hi Jane,

Thankyou so much for your advice. Sometimes it takes someone else to help you calm down and remain positive. We have spoken to the Breast Care nurse this am and she remains positive and full of hope. She tells us to think of cancer as a chronic disease (such as rheumotid arthritis!)not such a good comparision I feel!!
However, she says that the treatment options are vast and that we should think of the cancer as being in a sleeping phrase which we should learn to live with and treat when we have to. I hope this remains the case. Many thanks again


Hi Belin

I just want to endorse Jane’s comments. I was near enough 10 years in remission as well before I was re-diagnosed and the Arimidex will help to slow down the progression. Mine came back in 2004 (in my spine and liver) and with the help of things like Arimidex and bone strengtheners a lot of us can still have a good quality of life. They offer bisphosphonates (bone strengtheners) rather than chemo if there’s only bone involvement.

It’s like everything - it takes time to adjust again to the news and how different it is when it comes back. There are many more treatments available now from when I was first diagnosed in 1995.

Good luck to your mum


Hi, Arimidex worked well for me for nearly 3 years. (I have bone secondaries)
Good Luck to your Mum…xx

Thank you to all you lovely ladies who have responded above. I have just rung Mum and she is really elated that perhaps there is some hope now. I have read out all your emails to her and she cried with such relief. Thankyou so so much for all your support. I wish you all the same continued success.

Many thanks again

if I can chip in too - I am on Arimidex, though have only been on it for three months after 6 months of chemo. I can report that my cancer (lungs and liver) has remained stable, and shrunk in my breast in response to the hormone treatment. My oncologist expects this to be the case for at least another 6 months. I’m still at work and have an excellent quality of life. My impression is that tumours in the major organs (especially the liver) are more immediately life threatening than in the bones, so if your mother has minute bone tumours she has every reason to feel positive.

I hope all works out well for you both

Thankyou for your comments. Mum has a major problem with her lymph glands, Her pet scan idenfied glands in both the chest and stomach as being affected. There is also a query on two of her limbs. Following her surgery 10 years ago she had 18 lymph glands removed which were all infected. The team looking after her appear very positive that this hormone treatment will have a good affect so we have to trust in their skills and judgement. I’m so glad that your treatment is going well and that you are living life to the full. Good Luck


Hi belin

Just wanted to let you know that I’ve been on Arimidex for 18 months now and my bone scan last month showed that there has been no further spread at all.

Best wishes to you and your mum.