Yesterday I went to Holy Redeemer Hospital to meet with Dr. Pallav Mehta, MD who is on staff in the hematology/oncology unit. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss follow-up drug therapy since my tumor was strongly positive for estrogen/progesterone receptors. Dr. Mehta started out by reviewing my breast cancer history and told me that my prognosis is excellent with a 95% chance of remaining cancer free. He reiterated that my tumor was non-aggressive, very small, and caught early.
However, because of the tumor being hormone driven, he recommended that I go on an aromatase inhibitor called Arimidex for five years. The side effects include possible joint pain due to the drug drying up synovial fluid and a loss of bone density. He said that if I go on the drug I increase my chances of remaining cancer free to 97% but cited only a 25-30% success rate of the drug performance. Naturally, I asked him if he could recommend a more holistic approach. He brought up diet and nutrition and mentioned soy. He was not familiar with any plant-based supplements, so as soon as I got home I started researching online. I found an excellent blog post by Elyn Jacobs that discusses “natural alternatives to aromatase inhibitors.”
Based on my early research and excellent prognosis, I am strongly leaning towards a nutritional approach to managing the “bad” estrogen so that I do not lose the positive health benefits of the “good” estrogen. I will keep you posted on further findings and my final decision.
In closing, I send belated Hanukkah good wishes, Christmas greetings, and warm wishes for a happy and healthy 2013 to all.
. . . and so it is