progression-switch to arimidex

My last scan showed lung mets have got worse and I now have a met in my sternum, so tamoxifen is being switched to arimidex ( I was just about stable on tamoxifen and herceptin for a year and a half). I wanted to see if any of you have done this switch, and how affective it has been for you- at the moment, I am not sure if I should be pushing for more chemo, as am definitely feeling more symptomatic. Any information will be appreciated.
Best wishes,
Nicky

Hi Nicky, yes the switch was the start of the most effective treatment I’ve had, so far, so Good Luck. I took Tamoxifen for 15 months (I’m not her2) which then started to fail and I was switched to Arimidex which actually put me into remission (have had stage 4 bone mets from start) for over 2 and a half years. I hope it works as well for you. I’m now on my first chemo, Xeloda which is working well but my tumour markers although low are not as low as they were on Arimidex. Arimidex seemed such a tiny little pill after Tamoxifen but it can be very powerful. Belinda…x

Hi Nicky,

I remember you from the Liverpool Meet. I am sorry that you have had progression as I was amazed at how fantastic you looked and how well you seemed to be coping.

When you say symptomatic, do you mean pain or breathlessness? Do you have zoladex as well? I cannot really offer you advice but I suppose it depends on whether you are ER + or not. I wonder why Arimidex has been mentioned as I thought Femara would be the next line!! Are you triple positive? Do you feel up to chemo with your little one? Hormonals could be equally or if not more effective depending on status. It is a bag of s… isn’t it? Julie xxx

Hi Nicky I am on Armidex after being on Tamoxifen for only a few months ( I had progression of my liver mets whilst on it) I was changed to Armidex a year ago tgether with monthly Zoladex injections and they have kept my mets stable. At the moment I have a really good quality of live and am feeling very well. I am ER positive but HER -

Caroline

Hi Nicky,

I remember you from Westminster. I don’t have similar cancer to you, but always look out for news of you. Sorry to read you need a change of tack, but hope you find an effective course of action. Often think of you and your little one. Not much use in this post, I know, just thoughts and sympathy.

Jenny
xx

Hi Nicky

Sorry to hear about your progression, and, like others, I have had good results from Arimidex – I have bone & liver mets which were kept stable for two years on Arimidex & Xeloda (a tablet chemo), after which I changed to Aromasin, another aromatase inhibitor, which along with Xeloda at a much lower dose, has kept me stable for a further three years. With a met in your sternum now, I wonder if your onc has talked to you about also having a bisphosphonate, which strengthens bones & can prevent/reduce/heal bone mets? I have been taking a tablet bisphosphonate – Bondronat – for five years, with good results. These drugs, either IV or tablets, are pretty much “standard” treatment for us when we have bone mets, and are relatively free of side effects. I also had a blast or radiotherapy when my bone mets were dx, which helped to reduce my bone pain at the time, but you might not need that right now. Just a couple of suggestions – hope things go well for you with your new treatment plan.

Marilyn x

Hi everyone, Thank you for all your replies and good wishes. Started my new treatment last week, including zolodrenate for the bone met, and am taking some time off work, as last week realised I am exhausted and need some time for myself -am now sitting at home worrieng about work, because of course I am indispensible! My onc prescribed some morphine for my cough which has been keeping me awake, and am now sleeping much better.
Best wishes,
Nicky

Hi Nicky,

I was put onto arimedex nov 07 - initally on tamoxifen from '03 - 06 then had ovaries removed in 06 then on nothing until a diagnosis of lung mets and one in spine in nov 07, ive had bc and recurrences/spread since '03 - anyway the arimedex is working well and my scan in july showed shrinkage of my lung tumours and last scan this month showed no change which is better than growin! so can assume its stable for now. :slight_smile: i also take bondronate for my bone spread which is great and easy to take. i had radiotherapy (one zap ) to my spine tumour and that sorted that out - so just my lung mets to concentrate on now.

one of my previous diagnosis’s was breast cancer on or behind my sternum - they never knew if it was in or a lymph node behind causing the problem but had radiothereapy for a week on that and it sorted it out and that was in '05 - i wonder y they havent given you radiotherapy on your sternum? ??

i havent been offered chemo yet and am hercpt neg, so its hoped that arimedex will control the bc for a while - i hope! but there are other treatments so im fine about it.

have you had your ovaries out? as i wonder if that would offer any help? to lower the oestrogen further?

Rachel

Hi Rachel, It’s great to hear that the arimidex is working so well for you. Long may it continue to do so. I will discuss the ovary question with my oncologist when I next see her. I think I ahven’t been offered radiotherapy to the sternal met as it’s not really causing me any problems at the moment.
Best wishes,
Nicky