supplements and femara

I have had my surgery, a WLE and I have a micro met in my sentinel node. I decided not to go for chemo but to try radio and am currently on femara as my tumour is hormone responsive. I have been taking glucosimine, flaxseed and a vitamine supplement which seem sto help a lot with joint stiffness/pain. Is anyone else in the same boat? Currently waiting to start rads. Am I wrong to turn down chemo? I was only given around 9.75% reduction which is about the same as femara.

NO! you are not wrong in your desicion to have radio and no chemo. You made the decision probably after thinking about it really hard and taking advice from your team looking after you. There is no right or wrong, you have done what is best for you. We are all so different and our cancer’s are so different so who can possibly make that call apart from you. I had chemo, but mine had spread and I am in a different place to you…
As for the micro met, I expect the radio zapped that into oblivion!
I also have joint pain in my shoulder from arthritis in my shoulder, am not taking anything but may speak to my BC nurse and see if it’s ok for me to take glucosimine. Take care, look after yourself and don’t beat yourself up over a decision which was right for you. xxx

Hi Kit

You have had helpful advice so far, and personally I would support your decision not to have chemo, unless you are in your 20s maybe??

Just to add a few comments:

“surgery, a WLE and I have a micro met in my sentinel node…try radio”
Sounds like good treatment that might have got rid of all the active cancer! Or it might not… Femara (letrozole) is a very good treatment, it gave me almost three good years despite my being dx with multiple bone mets and not having surgery or rads. I had no chemo until after Femara stopped working for me.

Regarding supplements:
I haven’t taken glucosamine myself but it should be OK - remember to tell your onc, though :slight_smile:
Flaxseed - is that a supplement or do you add the actual seeds to food? My understanding is that flaxseeds/linseeds are unlikely to be a problem for those of us with hormone-positive bc… though you might want to consider avoiding soya milk and other foods containing whole soya beans.
Vitamin supplements are another matter - best if you talk to your onc. I am prescribed a high-dose vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) supplement because it helps with side effects of my current treatment, capecitabine (Xeloda), and I also take a prescription calcium/vitamin D supplement because I have bone mets. My advice is to be wary of vitamin supplements otherwise… if you’re in England they are free on prescription anyway! :slight_smile:

Oh, and you might want to post your original question in another sub-forum, because Femara is also taken by many women after primary bc treatment, to help prevent recurrence, and they might not look in the Secondaries threads.

If it was me I would have had chemo, because I would have been concerned about the possibility of undetectable cancer cells in the blood, and I would have taken the view that it was better to be safe than sorry etc. But I’m not you, and only you can decide what is right for you.
With regard to the supplements, I think you should speak to your Oncologist. My undertanding is that there is quite a debate about flax seed, because it is a type of phytoestrogen (a lignan), and generally speaking, physicians recommend that people with oestrogen receptive cancer should avoid phytoestrogens altogether, because they could potentially stimulate cancer. However, there have been a few studies which suggest that unlike other phytoestrogens such as Soya, flax (lignans), could be beneficial, as it acts as a natural type of Tamoxifen, interrupting the uptake of oestrogen (but as yet these have been too small scale, to be conclusive).