Breastcancer.org Chief Medical Officer and Founder Marisa Weiss, M.D. talks about the importance of sticking with a hormonal therapy treatment plan and ways to deal with any side effects.
Running time: 1:50
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Dr. Marisa Weiss: My name is Dr. Marisa Weiss. I’m chief medical officer of Breastcancer.org, and I want to just say a little bit about the role of anti-estrogen therapy — we call it hormonal therapy — for women who are diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer as well as advanced breast cancer. The side effects of those treatments can be difficult to weather in your everyday life, to manage, like hot flashes, and maybe a drop in energy, or muscle or joint achiness, “your get-up-and-go just got up and went away” kind of thing.
And we know that those side effects really stand in the way of a lot of people utilizing those medicines, so that it’s hard to stick to something if you feel like you are having a lot of side effects. So I would just encourage anyone who is on these medicines who’s experiencing side effects to really have a conversation with your doctor and nurse about how to manage them. There are many remedies, many things that you can do to improve upon that.
I’m a breast cancer survivor myself. I’ve been 6.5 years on anti-estrogen therapy, and I’ve had a lot of this-and-that to deal with in my everyday life, and I’ve had to find solutions as well. And finding those solutions, having a doctor respect and take them seriously, listen to them and give you a chance to sort of get it off your chest and understand what they mean — it makes a huge difference. And I’ve been able to, as a result — and I know other patients I take care of — have been able to better stick with the medicines over time, get the benefit, as long as they can find reasonable, accessible, affordable solutions. So check it all out at Breastcancer.org, those solutions both on the content side and in our Community as well.