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Anyone on Arimidex for more than 5 years?

Posts: 992
Joined: Sep 2009

I've been on this drug for 4 years.  My oncologist said she may recommend I stay on longer because recent info shows that it can continue to prevent recurrence in early stage cancer.  Anyone else told this?


missrenee's picture
Posts: 2137
Joined: Apr 2010

I was only on Arimidex for about a year.  Then it stopped working and I developed bone mets.  However, sounds like it's working great for you.  If you're doing well on it, and the doctor recommends it, I say stay on it and stay well.  Why not?


Hugs, Renee

Pink Rose
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2012

I am not on it, but, I agree with Renee.  If you're doing well, why not stay on it?  Are you having bad side effects?

lynn1950's picture
Posts: 2574
Joined: Jun 2008

I will be on Arimidex for five years next October and my oncologist told me last Friday that he is going to recommend that I continue taking it for the same reason that yours did.Frown  I so wanted to be done with Arimidex. xoxoxo Lynn

TraciInLA's picture
Posts: 1994
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi, Roseann -

I'm premenopausal, so am on Tamoxifen, not Arimidex.  I do realize they're very different drugs, but thought I would mention there's new research suggesting that women should consider staying on Tamoxifen for 10 years, instead of the 5 years that's been recommended for decades.

So I think -- now that women have been on these drugs longer, and they have more longitudinal data to look at -- researchers seem to be moving in the direction of recommending that many women (depending on their own personal risk factors) stay on them longer than 5 years.  

I'm over a year away from the 5-year mark on Tamoxifen, so my oncologist wants to look at the new research more closely before making a recommendation for me.


Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2803
Joined: Jun 2010

These are only my thoughts . . .they could be a little wonky.

I just switched from Arimidex to Tamoxifen and I do not want to take it for 10 years.  My little mind has been sort of spinning lately around this issue.  Even tho they work differently, when they work, they only work if they have cancer cells to work on.  The hope is that those nasty cells will die off or at least not grow from lack of estrogen.  Or something like that.  The thing is, (for early stage cancers at least) we don't know who has remaining cancer cells or is trying to grow new ones so we alter our environment just in case.  Some of us would not go on to develop a recurrence regardless.

 I also wonder about the percentage of cells I had that were not ER positive.   80% of my cells were ER+ .   Well what about the other 20%?  I need to ask that question at my next visit (if I remember).   My cancer was stage 1b, grade 2 and I'm not sure I will continue if that's what the recommendation is when my 5 years are up.  

I attended a lecture a couple of weeks ago on the results of the San Antonio conference where 5 additional years of Tamoxifen proved to be statistically significant in the recurrence rates (for 10 years).  The 10-year group consisted of women whose initial diagnoses were all stages of breast cancer and who had been on tamoxifen therapy for 5 years and had not had a recurrence (either local or distant).  What I came away with is that while this may be viewed by science as "statistically significant",  it still doesn't come down to a huge difference and definitely not a guarantee.  There were still recurrences.  Fewer than the other group who took Tamoxifen for only 5 years, but there were still recurrences.   Would those who did not recur, not recur regardless?    I dunno.  I'm stumped.  I hate that we have to do anything, but am so thankful that we have something we can do. 

BTW my onc said that while this is the recommendation, she doubts many patients will want to continue for 10 years, but will definitely offer it.  And the jury's still out on recommendations for Arimidex.   Some of us will want the added security of doing something to protect ourselves.  I think we all need to have frank discussions with our oncologists about what's best for us as individuals. 

And those are my rambling thoughts.


Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

Yes, some are saying now that we should stay on the hormone therapy drugs longer than the "norm" 5 years.  Some onco's are recommending it now to their patients that are at their 5 year mark and some are like yours Traci, they still want to do more research on it. 


Posts: 579
Joined: Dec 2010

They are saying 10 years now, for Tamoxifen and or Armidex.  I hate to agree with the professionals but I think if tolerable it is the way to go.  Seems a large amount of us have recurrence after five years.  My mum had it two more times.


I wonder how many people are walking around not knowing recurrence is quietly taking its course sadly.  


I know this something we don't wont to do my Oncol said this several years ago!!!!!!!!!!   Oh dear.


well said Suzzane

Posts: 28
Joined: Apr 2013

Actually I'm excited about this, because I'll do anything to decrease the chance of recurrence. I totally avoid soy and flaxseed too. I don't want to give any cancer cells any help. I have a friend who hated Arimidex and went off it after 2 years, who is now dealing with bone mets. She can't go there about having made a mistake, but this has reinforced my resolve to do everything I can.  I'm so glad that recurrence has become a chronic disease and not a death sentence. I already had joint pain and can tolerate my "warm" flashes if this helps prevent recurrence. Prayers for all of us. JoJo2

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