Anastrozole: A New Way to Prevent and Treat Breast Cancer
The last thing that you want to hear as a woman is that you have developed breast cancer. Finding a lump is one of the most eye opening moments you can have and for many women it is in that moment that we feel we are at our weakest. This cancerous being is taking over and we don’t know how to stop it.
One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime and in the United States alone, it is estimated that a whopping 276,480 will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2020 with an estimated 42,170 of those women not making it.
Through the first half of the decade, both Caucasian and African American women saw the highest incidence of breast cancer as well as the highest mortality rate with Native American women, Latin American women, and Asian American women following behind. For many women prevention and treatment are the only options they have, especially if breast cancer is already prevalent in their families. But Anastrozole can help.
What is Anastrozole?
In 1987, Anastrozole was patented by a company named Imperial Chemical Industries which is a British chemical company. It became part of the FDA approved list in 1995 as a treatment option for those that suffer from breast cancer. Anastrozole has several names that it is associated with; some of these names include Anastrozol, ICI-D1033, and ZD-1033 along with its branded names of Arimidex and Aremed.
Breast Cancer Treatment Option
As mentioned above, Anastrozole has a primary use in the treatment of breast cancer, more specifically hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. Hormone receptor-positive breast cancer refers to a tumor that consists of cells that express receptors for certain hormones. The most common example of this is estrogen receptor positive tumors; however, it can also include progesterone receptive positive tumors.
Prevention of Breast Cancer
Its treatment abilities don’t stop there. It has also been used as a preventative measure to prevent breast cancer for individuals that are at a higher risk. This includes individual’s that are at an increased age as well as those who share the same genetic makeup as someone who has had breast cancer. Inherited gene mutations that occur in certain genes like the BRCA1 and BRCA2 are typical indicators that breast cancer is a possibility. However, with the possibility of preventing by using Anastrozole, there is less to worry about for these specific individuals. Another thing to keep in mind about this research chemical is that it is taken orally as another alternative currently doesn’t exist.
In a study that took place over the course of several years and recruited 3,864 women that were postmenopausal and at risk for developing breast cancer, the effectiveness of Anastrozole as a preventative measure in breast cancer development was measured. The women were randomly recruited between 2003 and 2012. Once the recruitment period finished, 1,944 of the women were given Anastrozole at a 1mg per day dose for five years. The other 1,920 women that took part in the study were assigned to the placebo group. After the five years of taking Anastrozole was completed, these same women were followed up with at around the 131 month mark. What researchers found was that in those that took Anastrozole for five years at 1mg a day there was a 49% decrease in breast cancer than those that received the placebo.
Treatment for Peripheral Precocious Puberty
Aside from aiding on the breast cancer front as a treatment option for those at a higher risk of developing breast cancer in addition to those that have hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, Anastrozole has also been found to aid in the treatment of those that experience peripheral precocious puberty. This occurs when an individual starts puberty at an age earlier than they are typically supposed to which can be linked to familial male-limited precocious puberty which is also known as testotoxicosis as well as McCune-Albright Syndrome.
Side Effects of Anastrozole
The upside to taking Anastrozole as an option for breast cancer treatment and prevention is that there are no known drug interactions that occur with it. However, like most things, there is always the possibilities of negatives. The good thing is that these negatives are fairly mild in comparison for what this research chemical does to benefit you. Some of the more common side effects include hot flashes, weakness, arthritis, high blood pressure, depression, nausea or vomiting, insomnia, and headaches. In Extremely rare cases side effects include things like swelling of the face, lips, and tongue as well as difficulty swallowing. This usually only occurs when someone is allergic to Anastrozole and as mentioned is extremely rare.
- hot flashes
- high blood pressure
- nausea or vomiting
Don’t let breast cancer sideline you from the life you worked hard for and deserve. You may be one of those 276,480 women diagnosed in 2020 but don’t let it defeat you stand tall and know that you are supported. Take charge and work to become one of the many in the statistics of survivors so that your legacy can live on with those around you. Fight back with Anastrozole and take control of your future.
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