Questions re Aromasine
Per my earlier blog, this is my first attempt to use our current available technology as something like a support group. Please see the questions below which came to me via email.
I am having a lot of discomfort with tamoxifen and my new oncologist prescribed Aromasine. On-line info states that it completely stops, irreversably, the production of estrogen.
My questions are the following:
1. Can the obliteration of estrogen cause dementia?
2. If you take Arimidex, which can stop the production of estrogen for as long as you take it, what happens at the end of 5 years? --does your body go back to making it, and if so, are you once again susceptable to breast cancer.if you are, like me, estrogen receptive?
3. If I have no estrogen at all, will I turn into a prune? I don't see any of these issues addressed anywhere.
These are very confounding, and anxiety producing facts when you are trying to make the best decisions for your care..
These are all good questions and are great examples of the worries we often have. It is unfortunate that she could not discuss these concerns with her doctor, and I am glad that she thought to write to me. Obviously, I am not a physician, and I certainly am aware of the limits of my knowledge, but I can answer a lot of questions and will do so now.
1. Estrogen and dementia: We do, sadly, know that there are associations between estrogen and cognitive sharpness. Not just women taking anti-estrogen therapies, but all people loss a little cognitive acuity with age. As far as I know, there is no evidence that lack of estrogen causes dementia, and I have NEVER heard this expressed as a concern or side effect of anti-estrogen therapies.
2. Increasingly, women are taking some combination of tamoxifen and AIs for more than five years. Studies continue and the optimal schedule is not yet known. However, it seems likely that many of us will be on one or another anti-estrogen therapy for ten years or even longer. When we stop these therapies, it is reasonable to assume that our bodies will again make a little estrogen. That is the reason for the continuing treatment--but remember that post menopause, very little estrogen is being produced.
3. No, you will not turn into a prune. Promise.