Femara vs. Tamoxifin

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Bsime
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 12/31/2009 3:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I am posting this for my wife who just had surgery on both breasts and will receive radiation treatments.  Her oncologist wants her to take femara instead of tamoxifin after radiation.  Of course, there is no generic and it is much more expensive than generic tamoxifin.
 
Has anyone researched it and taken it?  What are the benefits of femara vs. tamoxifin?  The onocologist feels that femara is more effective.
 
Thanks.
 
Bill
MCTD (lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis).  Diagnosed 2005.  Kidney, liver, GI tract, dysphagia, raynauds, Barretts esophagus, quadriplegic in 2005.  Recovered and now active in skiing, tai, chi, hiking, golf.  Meds: prednisone 2.5mg, imuran 25mg, amlodipine, benazapril, omeprazole, potassium, folic acid, vitamins, maxide and various supplements and vitamins.
 
Remain optimistic and you can overcome the odds.


undefeated
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 200
   Posted 1/1/2010 7:16 AM (GMT -6)   
If your wife has an ER/PR+ type cancer, I would go with the tamoxifen.  It has an excellent 20+ year history of preventing recurrence.
 
I took tamoxifen for the recommended five years, and then switched to Femara.  They did bone density studies first, because Femara affects bone density, and my studies were super good.  Even though I took the extra Vitamin D and calcium supplements along with Femara that first year, when my 2nd bone density study was done, my studies had gone down, down down.  After consulting with my oncologist, it was decided that the couple of percentage points Femara gave me to prevent recurrence were outweighed by the 100% damage the Femara had done to my bones.  I stopped taking it.  That was about 6 years ago.
 
My diagnosis sounds worse than your wife's.  I'm a little beyond 12 years from diagnosis and treatment, and so far, Thank God, no recurrence.
 
Tell your wife to ask about the potential side effects of both drugs.  Depending upon her age, that also may give more guidance into her choice.
 
Good luck and best wishes.
 
 

Bsime
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1190
   Posted 1/1/2010 5:18 PM (GMT -6)   
My wife has lobular cancer in both breasts.  Tests after surgery were negative but the oncologist is doing genetic testing to see if chemo is also advised.  If the tests are negative he has recommended femara.  She is 70 and in good health otherwise but probably susceptible to osteoporosis due to ethnicity, age, and genetics.  He talked about taking something to prevent bone loss but not sure what that was.  It will be another two months until she takes either drug so there is time to research and consider the options.
 
I did not think that femara was approved for use 7 years ago.
 
Bill
MCTD (lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis).  Diagnosed 2005.  Kidney, liver, GI tract, dysphagia, raynauds, Barretts esophagus, quadriplegic in 2005.  Recovered and now active in skiing, tai, chi, hiking, golf.  Meds: prednisone 2.5mg, imuran 25mg, amlodipine, benazapril, omeprazole, potassium, folic acid, vitamins, maxide and various supplements and vitamins.
 
Remain optimistic and you can overcome the odds.


undefeated
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 200
   Posted 1/2/2010 7:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Femara has been around for some time.   I don't know if it was approved or not, but a friend whose breast cancer went elsewhere was put on it immediately - and that was 10 years ago, and it did a good job for her.  She's still here, and she's about 75 now.
 
I was 49 at diagnosis and started taking the Femara when I was about 54 or so, and it adversely affected my bone density.  Before I began, I had the bone density of someone ten years younger, and one year later, I was a little ahead of my age.  It simply affected me badly too much too quickly.  There are new drugs to prevent bone loss.  At that time, the drug of choice was Fosamax (sp), but you had to do all kinds of special things for some time after taking a pill and if it was that caustic, that didn't appeal to me either.
 
But since your wife is 70, I would really, really talk about the osteoporosis angle.

10rings
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 1/21/2010 8:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I am to begin taking Femara this month. I am afraid of some of the side effects. I had partial knee replacements 2 and 3 years ago, and I know about bone pain. I do not want to feel that pain again. I am also concerned about the bone density as when I had the density test they found osteopina in two areas.

I know that I may never have either one of these side effects and I know I should at least try Femara. I need some feedback from those who have experience with Femara. Please help enlighten me.
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