This isn't political news but it is really news that I didn't want to hear. Tamoxifen and AIs (Aromatase Inhibitors - Femara, Aromasin, etc) work by cutting off the supply of estrogen which feeds cancer cells. However the new research (because we need new research forever) shows that cancer cells can evolve to develop their own food supply if it is cut off by the treatment.
"Approximately 70% of breast cancers are estrogen receptor positive which means they feed on the hormone estrogen. Breast cancer drugs such as tamoxifen and the aromatase inhibitors work by limiting access to estrogen thereby starving the cancer. Research published yesterday in the journal Nature Genetics indicates that some breast cancers treated with aromatase inhibitors evolve to produce their own supply of estrogen rendering the drug treatment therapy ineffective."
I didn't want to know that. What it means that while I am taking Femara, the dumb ass cancer cells could be finding their new food supply.
After my breast cancer diagnosis, chemotherapy and radiation, I was put on Tamoxifen for two and one half years and then switched to Femara. In 2015, I had hit the five years on Femara and was, after some discussion, taken off it by my oncologist.
We talked about several issues with this including the potential benefit of staying on it even though it wasn't proven yet. But because of my issues with pain, we decided it might be better if I went off it. The thought was that sometimes Femara causes problems with joint pain and since I have so many issues with pain, who knew maybe it would help.
In 2016, last summer, there was new research which said staying on it for ten years was better than five. And I hadn't noticed any less pain with it. So I went back on it.
Now this new research makes me feel 'unsafe'. That is not good thing for a cancer person to feel 'unsafe'. Cancer people want to feel safe. They want to feel that their treatment is protecting them as much as it can. Why take it if it doesn't protect you? If the dumb ass cancer cells want to evolve and go around the treatment, why am I taking it?
Thank you for this research. Not really.