I'm 52 and I had my 5 year check this year and have been on anastrazole for nearly 3 years after being on tamoxifen for the first 2 and was told that current research is that it is only beneficial to stay on an aromatase inhibitor for a total of 5 years (so another 2 years for me).
I queried the fact that when I reach the anastrazol 'cut off' point I would only have had 7 years total of cover and not 10 years. (originally on switching over 3 years ago, I was told by oncologist I would stay on anastrazole for the whole 8 years). I was told recently at my check though that after being on anastrazole for 5 years I would stop it but could at that point, choose to go back onto tamoxifen for the remaining 3 years.
It's all very confusing isn't it?
Spotted your question about the level of benefit of hormone therapy. There is a website which is entirely based upon average data, taking into account general size of lump, any node involvement and general treatment, age at diagnosis etc. It shows statistical averages for survival 5, 10 and 15 years after.
It's very much a personal decision on whether one wants to look or not, or ask your oncologist to run through the data with you, or one can log onto the site and enter your own info. Like I say, it's all statistical averages and doesn't factor in other medical issues, lifestyle etc. The weblink is https://breast.predict.nhs.uk/tool
From recent studies they have been finding that taking hormone therapy for 10 years rather than 5 years gives extended benefits, 10 years med's benefits up to 15 years (possibly longer, but they don't have that data yet), so also worth baring in mind and you might want to ask your onc about this next time you see them? The benefits are greatest if there was some nodal involvement.
I hope the above helps you feel more informed about the average benefits of hormone therapy for your type/stage etc of cancer re weighing up pro's and con's with side affects.
Hi, you're not alone! After 8 months on anastrazole, I seemed to be doing ok ( changed brands which helped for a while ), but now my joint pain is increasing, knees were always a problem but hip and foot pain now, seriously affecting every day life and my mood. Feel very low, very old and yes, very overweight. Gained a lot which doesn't help joints or mental health. Going to speak to BC nurses to see what they suggest, not very confident there's any alternative hormone treatment that will be better, I'm determined to find a way of managing the pain though, as I wont come off the meds if the chance of BC recurrence is reduced. Anybody with advice...much appreciated!
Hi - I'm so sorry you are having such a miserable time .I can identify as I've put on 2 stone in the last 18 months due to immobility because of joint /bone issues - didn't realise how much being active impacted on my weight until now .There are lots of us on the forum who have struggled with the quality of life versus possible cancer prevention dilemma .Do you know how much benefit you are gaining from the meds ? For me it was only 0.7 % over 10 years but for others it is much greater and maybe much more worth struggling on with.
Was treated for BC 2015, lumpectomy, radiation, arimidex. Have used arimidex, aromasin and tamoxifin, no difference in side effects. Since diagnosis, I have gained 40 pounds, have no energy and hurt all over. I know my oncologist is recommending a minimum of 5 years on the arimidex, but I am seriously considering stopping after 4 years. I thought I could make it but it just seems to get worse every day. I have tried dieting, it makes no difference if I eat salads or candy bars, the weight won't budge. As for getting more exercise, it's all I can do to walk across the parking lot at work. Thank goodness I have a sit down job. None of the doctors seem to understand, it's always you need to exercise more or have you tried the keto diet. It's almost like they are completely disconnected, giving me the text book solution. Well it doesn't work. I am tired of not living my life. I was always active until this. Anybody have any ideas?
PS- I have just turned 60. I always knew I would get old, I just didn't realize it would happen overnite.