Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up
do I need my meds?
avatar
peque posted:
I have been on breast cancer drug therapy for alittle over on year, I am will be starting a new medication in one week.
due to the bone pain is very painful I am unable to work.
I was wondering if I really needed to take these meds.
what happens if I stop taking them, will my breast cancer return?
Reply
 
avatar
judyfams responded:
If you are referring to the anti estrogen meds for hormone positive breast cancer the answer is yes ......... and no!
The doctors recommend these drugs because it is thought that estrogen fuels the growth of cancer cells so if you take these meds that might help prevent a recurrence.
The no choice is basically yours to make. Some women opt NOT to take these meds for a myriad of reasons, and that is OK too. The choice is yours to make - doctors can make their recommendations to you and then you can make the choice that you feel gives you the most peace of mind and the best quality of life.
Good luck to you.
Judy
 
avatar
jenna291 replied to judyfams's response:
I agree with Judy. I too am on meds (Arimidex) which cause bone pain, but for the most part I tolerate it. I feel the pros outway the cons, but that is my decision, and everyone has their own choice to make.
I was estrogen positive stage II, so we want to keep those levels down for as long as possible.
Good luck with your decision. I find that exercise on my worst days helps a lot, and staying hydrated. Rest when needed.
Let us know what you decide.

~ Jenna
 
avatar
rachael67 responded:
When I first began this BC journey and began to learn all the ins and outs and terms and treatments, etc. I remember thinking how fortunate we are that there are so many choices...and how UNFORTUNATE we are that there are so many choices!!

If it were a one-size-fits-all, we'd not have to decide...and we would be screaming for other options, right?

As has been said, it is a balancing act: Benefits vs risks. Only you (with tons of research, advice, etc.) can make the decision. Once done, however, do not look back and second-guess yourself! You do the best you can with what is available at the time and then hope!

I chose to NOT go onto anti-hormone therapy. But each of us has to walk that road. I wish you good luck!

Blessings.
Rachael
Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
 
avatar
DancingYogini responded:
Best to talk to your doctor about it and maybe even get a second opinion. I elected to not take Tamoxifen despite the recommendation from my original oncologist. My new oncologist, my radiation oncologist and surgeon are OK with this. In exchange for not taking it, I elected to make significant lifestyle changes. I started to work with a Naturopathic Oncologist. I am taking some natural things to help with the estrogen part of the equation. DIM and Melatonin at 20 mg. Also I am taking some things to boost my immunity. I got an organic mattress and avoid chemicals and eat organic food. I do yoga and meditation and have learned to manage stress. For some people a full lifestyle change is too overwhelming or difficult and the drugs will be a better a choice. It's definitely a personal decision and know that there are always alternatives.
 
avatar
Joeybirdie responded:
Hi Peque! I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May. My husband and I did extensive research on cancer. I decided not to do the chemo, surgery, or radiation. Thousands of people have been cured of cancer with cannabis. Please watch this video and see for yourself. I substituted the oil with raw cannabis because raw cannabis does not get you high. I liked that. I now have no cancer and feel wonderful. There is no bad side effects....only good ones. Please keep an open mind about this. There is a big stigma with marijuana as you know. But I decided I wanted to live and didn't care about what anyone said. I live in Michigan, which has medicial marijuana laws..so grateful for that. I am now on a maintanance dose to keep the big C away. Please spread the word about this even if you don't want to try it. Feel free to contact me via email if you have any questions. Here's to a cancer free world!! Take care, Joeybirdie Here is the link...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0psJhQHk_GI
 
avatar
griswold responded:
Which med have you switched to, may I ask?
 
avatar
mbartos responded:
You need to talk to your oncologist. Ask for exact percentages of improvement. When they say 25% improvement that doesn't mean 25% of 100% it may mean 25% of 16% or a real improvement of 4%. All this depends on the stage and type of cancer you have. If you are estrogen positive and lots of other stuff. If your oncologist hasn't given you these very specific numbers you might want to try going to a regional cancel center (like M.D. Anderson in Houston, or others). Your doctor needs to know the side effects you are suffering. If you are unable to work they should be told. Most doctors want to strike a balance between treatment and letting you live your life. My surgical oncologist initially told me I would be on drug therapy for 5 years. But after surgery and all the numbers were in my other oncologist said the benefits for MY particular cancer just didn't add up, so she nixed the therapy for me. Everyone is different. If your doctor can show you that the side effects are worth the benefits that's one thing, but just following a regime because others tolerate it doesn't make sense. Good luck to you.
 
avatar
goody2chords responded:
There's no guarantee as far as cancer returning, or for anything in life for that matter. Statistics are not to be trusted as far as I'm concerned. Beware the cancer/ pharma money making machine. If your bones are hurting you that much, GET OFF THE DRUGS and find alternatives. YES, there are alternatives. Western medicine is only one opinion, seek others. It's worth a try before you decide to settle into a life of total discomfort & pain on drugs. Trust in your body & the power of healing.
 
avatar
goody2chords replied to jenna291's response:
Hi, I'm not sure about Arimidex, but tamoxifen for estrogen positive breast cancer is not an "anti hormone", it does not cut your hormone levels at all. It blocks the action of hormones on would be estrogen receptors in cancer cells. It's much more complicated than simply cutting down on hormones. In fact you would produce the same amount of hormones on or off the drug, if I'm correct. Thanks to chemotherapy we have gone through menopause so that has affected our hormone production. Tamoxifen does not affect production of hormones. What is worrisome (to me at least) is the side effects of this drug, regardless of what it is supposed to do. There are natural agents that also bind to estrogen receptors, do some research & decide if you are ready to live on the edge, trust in natural healing & feel good- not sick with pain, low libido, etc. etc. & ad infinitum... or so I have read from those on the drug & other similar drugs. It is a hard decision, but whatever you decide, be vigilant!!
 
avatar
goody2chords replied to DancingYogini's response:
Dancing Yogini, exactly what I did! I hope you fare well with your decision to go the natural healing route. Did you have chemotherapy, etc.? I'd love to hear more about your journey. Yoga was still hurting my left side (left breast mastectomy, etc.) but I will keep trying to get back there. I still practice ballet which I have always done and even through chemotherapy I was in class twice a week. I couldn't finish class but I did the barre all throughout! I believe physical exercise in something that you love can help tremendously.


Helpful Tips

How to more easily read discussions
Exchanges provide a more dynamic way to keep up with ongoing discussions. But If you're finding how discussions and responses are ... More
Was this Helpful?
27 of 46 found this helpful

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems to the
Food and Drug Administration

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit the Duke Health Breast Cancer Center