Adjuvant Hormonal Therapy for Estrogen Receptor Positive Early Stage Breast Cancer
Hormonal therapy options to fight breast cancer
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At a time when many women are trying to figure out how to get estrogen into their bodies, those of us that have battled through breast cancer are being treated with drugs to take it out. Sister who is a BRCA II carrier like me but has never been diagnosed with breast cancer is also being treated to limit estrogen production in her body. Her preventative measures have included surgery to date, and vigilant screening of her breasts. Sister has been on one drug that has presented all types of side effects and so she is taking a drug holiday; she is stopping it for a while. I have been able to suggest other drugs and encourage her to visit her doctor to discuss other treatment options. The goal is to keep Sister from getting breast cancer.
I have written tons of blogs over the past almost three years on different hormonal drugs prescribed to reduce risk of breast cancer and recurrence. So many women get frustrated from the side effects and the attitude of doctors who unsympathetically insist they keep on taking them. I know, and your doctor knows, that there are other options. We need to be presented with all the options and the outcomes and then go from there. Often that may mean trying a couple of different aromatase inhibitors like Femora or Arimidex, or taking the older drug – Tamoxifen. One newer option is rolaxafine with a brand name of Evista. This drug is usually prescribed for osteoporosis but has proven to reduce the risk of breast cancer in post menopausal women.
Taking control of your own health means learning about what’s available. The side effects of the hormonal drugs we take can be brutal. I continually remind you that I was taking Arimidex but switched back to Tamoxifen when the side effects got so severe I felt incapacitated, even though Arimidex is considered the better drug to prevent recurrence. Fortunately Tamoxifen does not cause discomfort for me. It does for Sister and she is one tough woman. These drugs really are a benefit to helping us battle this disease, it’s not time to give up when things get tough, its time to take control and get smart.
Talk to your doctor about all options before starting or stopping prescription medication for breast cancer and hormonal treatment.
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