Told aromatase inhibitor is not working? - SHARE Breast Canc...

SHARE Breast Cancer Support
1,298 members578 posts

Told aromatase inhibitor is not working?

Jack2019
Jack2019

I have been on Arimidex for nearly two years now, and have recently been diagnosed with a new cancer in the other breast. I talked to the oncologist briefly over the phone (because of Corona my in office visit was cancelled) and he said to stop taking Arimidex because "it's not working". I was surprised by this. He then went on to say he will put me on Tamoxifen. I am wondering what you ladies may know about this. It was my opinion Arimidex is the superior drug for post menopausal women, I am 60. Is it possible the Arimidex had no benefit? Is it possible the second cancer was present two years ago? He couldn't/wouldn't ? answer those questions. I am cautious about Tamoxifen, as I have Heart issues. He had no time to go into a discussion about statistics of the blood clotting risk. I am very worried and I am inclined to continue taking Arimidex because I tolerate it pretty well. He is calling me in a weeks time so I can think about it? Frustrating!, I don't know how to make an informed decision on risk/reward of Tamoxifen. Both cancers were Stage 1 with no lymph nodes involved. Any wisdom on Tamoxifen would be appreciated, especially the clotting risk. Thankyou!

12 Replies
oldestnewest

My mother is on Arimidex and yes, it is possible it isn't working and another med will do the trick. Each med has different hormonal aspects. Sorry that I don't know enough about tamoxifen, but did want to let you know that I had ca in both breasts, about 5 years apart (ovarian ca in the middle) and currently have lung ca, so hopefully you will recover from this. The 2nd ca was a triple positive encapsulating a triple negative almost completely,,,talk about totally messed up hehehe My mother may need to change to another if Arimidex does not work well enough - it shrunk the tumor, but not enough for the onc to be happy. Hope this helps.

Jack2019
Jack2019
in reply to anrean

Oh my you have a lot on your plate. I have had my eyes opened by your reply. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply, when you clearly have a lot on your mind. I wish you and your mother well.

anrean
anrean
in reply to Jack2019

It looks like there is a lot on my plate, but it really isn't that bad. Attitude has so much to do with everything, and stress is very bad for the body. So, I take it one day at a time and thank God that I can handle what is on my plate. I pray you can find some serenity in all you are going through.

Is it possible that u could talk to your heart doctor to see what he thinks? Maybe that would put your mind at ease if he said it was ok...😀

Jack2019
Jack2019
in reply to Rhwright12

Thank you for your reply. I will be speaking to the radiologist next, I am hoping he can direct me to someone who can answer my questions, perhaps there is a cardiologist that specialises in cancer care and the heart.

Hi! I am. 66 and taking Tamoxifen and tolerating it well - I discovered I had a stage one very small tumour in one breast with no lymph node involvement - I had a lumpectomy and then began Tamoxifen about five months ago-aside from hot flashes - which have disrupted my sleep I feel relatively well with the medication- I have arthritis so doctor felt this would be a better choice than Arimedex- due to increased bone and joint pain on that drug.

Anyway- check with your cardiologist but just wanted to let you know that there are some post menopausal women using Tamoxifen .

Thinking of you in these challenging times:)

Thank you Traveller! Take care.

So the new cancer is estrogen receptive? I had a friend your age get a hysterectomy, take Arimidex 5 years and now on tamoxifen. It seems treatment plans vary. There are other aromatase inhibitors besides Arimidex. Maybe you could get a second opinion. My insurance paid for my second opinion. Whether or not the tumor is new or was there before is not important. You deserve the best care NOW.

Jack2019
Jack2019
in reply to TinaLund

Yes Estrogen positive. He said no aromatase will work. The reason I was wondering if the new cancer was there two years ago is that, in my mind, I thought that ,

if it was, the aromatase may be working and kept it small? I'm just afraid of risking a blood clot from Tamoxifen, and don't know what to think. What is the threat? I will try hard for a second opinion. Thanks for responding.

Hi, Jack,

My "assumption" is that the arimidex was originally prescribed when you were first diagnosed with early stage cancer? With the second cancer showing up, your oncologist may be suggesting that this is evidence that the arimidex is no longer working and that he wants you to switch to tamoxifen before any surgical decisions are made.

In my own humble opinion, I would follow your oncologist's advice and switch your medication. However, if you choose to remain on the arimidex, I'm guessing that one week's time will not make that much difference, especially if you want to discuss your heart concerns in more detail.

All the best and prayers for the best meds to stop the cancer in its tracks!!

XXOO Linda

Jack2019
Jack2019
in reply to SeattleMom

Hi Linda, your assumption is absolutely correct, that is exactly what he said to me. Thank you for sharing and helping me to relax and trust the professionals. It is what it is and I need to remember there are no guarantees in medicine. Thanks for the virtual hug.

SeattleMom
SeattleMom
in reply to Jack2019

You are very welcome, Jack! God bless you! XXOO

You may also like...