Sunday, April 15, 2012

Here Starts 5 Years of Arimidex (Anastrozole)!

Starting around the first of April I started taking Arimidex (a-RIM-ih-dex) - chemical name: Anastrozole (an-AS-troe-zole), which I'll be taking for the next 5 years.  Arimidex is a pill taken once a day. Most doctors recommend taking Arimidex at the same time each day. 

Arimidex (chemical name: anastrozole) is an aromatase inhibitor approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat post-menopausal women diagnosed with hormone-receptor-positive, early-stage breast cancer after surgery (or possibly chemotherapy and radiation) to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back

Aromatase is an enzyme found in various places in the body. These enzymes help produce estrogens (in particular, a certain estrogen called estradiol). In postmenopausal women, most of the estrogen in the body is made by aromatase. By blocking these enzymes, Arimidex helps to decrease the amount of estrogen in the body.
Biomarker tests of my tumor revealed my cancer was estrogen and progesterone positive (ER+/PR+) - which means  those two hormones fuel my type of breast cancer (BC).  Estrogen Receptor positive (ER+) means that estrogen is causing your tumor to grow, and that the cancer should respond well to hormone suppression treatments. In other words, Arimidex is a hormonal treatment that helps fight breast cancer by lowering the amount of the hormone estrogen in the body.

Arimidex is the best drug of choice available for:

* increasing the time before the cancer comes back in those who
   experience recurrence

* reducing the risk of the cancer spreading to other parts of the body

* reducing the risk of a new cancer developing in the other breast

My medical oncologist, Dr. Haley, advised me that the two main side effects I might can expect are hot flashes & joint pain - so I won't worry about the other ones listed.  Any side effects are worth the benefit of keeping the cancer from recurring!  Let the fight continue!