Pain as side effect of Letrozole vs pain from bone mets

I started taking Letrozole three months ago after my second breast cancer diagnosis. I am now suffering form one of the common side effects, joint pain - mainly in my hands, feet, lower back and hips.

I have a history of issues and pain with my spine and a recent Dexa scan showed quite advanced osteoarthritis in my lumbar spine. The pain elsewhere is new though.

I am determined to keep on with the Letrozole…going through breast cancer twice is more than enough and if its going to prevent a third occurrence then I can cope with the side effects.

However, like many of us on these boards I am very aware of the risk of bone (and other) secondary cancers and am hyper sensitive to any symptoms that might indicate that - so how am I meant to tell the difference between my osteoarthritis pain, my new Letrozole pains, and something more sinister developing?


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Hi Lisa, yes it’s always at the back of our minds, isn’t it, that it’s cancer.
I’m on exemestane after surgery in 2019 and have struggled with joint pain. Last week I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my knee by a physio I self referred to. I also spoke with my BCN recently who recommended taking omega-3. I’ve been taking vegan omega-3 capsules for about three weeks now and there’s a marked reduction in pain. The BCN said if it didn’t help then they would consider changing my meds.
I think maybe try changing small things first. Maybe try omega-3 and see if it makes a difference? Apparently it helps with brain fog so that would be a big bonus!

Lisa have you tried different makes of letrozole. Some i find i can hardly walk with others no side effects at all. I currently use either accord or bristol. Strange how Duffryn brands can have such a big effect