Check ups and Arimidex

Check ups and Arimidex

Check ups and Arimidex Hi everyone,

Went yesterday for my yearly check up - everything was OK thank goodness. Doc. told me to make appt. for a years time and was about to leave, when I asked her what was happening regarding Arimidex. She then went on to explain that it wasn’t on their list of drugs which they are able to prescribe but they use something else (I stupidly didn’t ask what). She explained about the risk of Osteoporis and how Tamoxifen protects against this, but said that for women in my situation who are node positive this other drug has been shown to be beneficial. She then said she could give me a prescription for it if I wanted it or I could have a bone density scan and come back in six months for a chat about it and decide then.

I decided to wait as I will have been on Tamoxifen for 3 years in April. Now I am worrying that I should have taken the prescription and got the benefit over the next six months.

My main gripe however, is that I had to ask about it and it was not offered to me. All I know is what I read in the papers and surely if it has been found to be beneficial for women in my situation it should be routinely offered. There must be people who aren’t aware of the new drugs and wouldn’t think to ask - what happens to them?

Sorry to ramble on but I find the check-ups stressful enough without having to sort out my own treatment and frankly I have come away even more confused. I know I should be grateful that the check up was OK.

I hope if you are waiting for results or have a check up before Christmas that everything goes well for you.

Thanks for listening


Hi Di Please feel free to contact our free phone helpline on 0808 800 6000 if you would like to talk to someone in confidence about the queries you have regarding your treatment. Everyone on our helpline either has experience of breast cancer or is a breast care nurse.

You are also welcome to contact us via our ‘Ask the nurse’ service which you can access via the ‘Support for you’ tab on our homepage.

Kind regards
BCC Host

Hi Di

I’m very pleased that everything was ok at your check up and sorry to hear about your dilema. Could you chat you thoughts over with your Breast Care Nurse or make an earlier appointment to see your onc.?

I know just waht you mean about having to ask about your own treatment, I find it very frustrating and make notes about anything that I gleen from here in between appointments. I now make a point of asking at each appointment “Is tamoxifen the best drug for me at the moment?” which the reply is always yes as I’m currently pre-menopausal but it’s worth a try.

I hope that you have a very happy Christmas and it was lovely to see you in London 2 weeks ago!

Here’s to a healthy 2007.


Hi Rebecca,

Thanks for replying - it was lovely to see you and everyone else - shame that is the last one.

I think I might take the Moderator’s advice and use the ask the nurse service - I don’t even know who my BC nurse is anymore as I have been switched from one hospital to another and all the doctors have changed as well.

I shall certainly get as much info as I can so that I can make an informed decision as it looks as though it will be down to me to decide.

I hope you and your family have a lovely Christmas.

Best wishes


Arimidex Hi Di,
I was very surprised to read your post and the difficulty in getting Arimidex. I was dx in Jan 2003, finished surgeries, chemo and rads in Nov 2003. At my last checkup with my Onc in Feb 2004, he switched me from Tamoxifen to Arimidex and I am still taking it, no side effects at all and I am very happy with it. My Onc didn’t explain why he was switching me, and I was about to ask him to do it, after reading the current literature, but he forestalled me. I don’t know the details of your diagnosis, but if you are post-menopausal, you should really ask about going onto Arimidex. It has better stats for non-recurrence than Tamoxifen. My hospital, in Plymouth, Devon, is one of the 6 centres of breast care excellence in the UK, so it could just be that I got the right treatment early, whereas general hospitals without a specialised bc treatment centre are not up to date.

I don’t know the wherewithall as to how these Onc’s prescribe certain medications, but if I were you, I would certainly be proactive and ask. It is your life - not their’s.

It is amazing that I continually read recent newspaper reports about “new drug for breast cancer” - i.e. Arimidex, when I have been having it for some 3 years, as have many other women. I believe all women/men with early stage breast cancer should have the opportunity, if their circumstances permit ,to have the latest adjuvant treatment, like Arimidex.

Please try and get back to your bc nurse or Onc, or surgeon (mine is my lifeline! as I haven’t seen my Onc since finishing rads) and ask for some answers.

Hope you have a good Christmas.