Dr. Sandhya Pruthi on Breast Cancer

This Medical Edge Weekend program features Mayo Clinic physician Dr. Sandhya Pruthi on breast cancer.

Medical Edge Weekend 5-7-11

Here is some video of Dr. Pruthi talking about mammography screening guidelines, from Mayo Clinic’s YouTube channel.


  1. Posted April 30, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    What does consistent breast pain and tenderness mean even after anti-inflamatory?

    • Makala Johnson
      Posted May 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Is the question about receiving anti-inflammatory medication such as NSAID’s? Could you clarify please? Thanks!

      Here is a reply from Dr. Pruthi:

      “Breast pain can be caused by a variety of factors. The most common cause is due to hormonal changes associated with the menstrual cycle and tends to worse in the weeks before the menses and then subside after the menstrual cycle. If you develop inflammation and pain in the underlying chest muscle or ribs known as costochondritis, the pain can radiate to the breast. Anti-inflammatory medications such as NSAIDs are usually helpful in relieving this pain. Check with your doctor to see if you are taking the correct dose of the medication.

      When breast pain is persistent- occurring daily- and involving one area of the breast or if there a new lump or change in the breast then you should see your doctor to have this evaluated. Your doctor will do a clinical breast exam and may order a mammogram and or breast ultrasound.”

  2. Susan Baldwin
    Posted May 1, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    I was diagnosed with hormone receptor positive BC at the age of 50 in 2008. I have been on tamoxifin for 2 years and now my Dr. wants me to switch to Arimidex. My periods stopped when I went through chemo and have never returned. Is there a way to know when the time is right to make the switch?

    • Thea Caplan
      Posted May 3, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Armidex has been shown in studies to be superior to tamoxifen. also, you may want to ask your doctor about letrozole (femara) which is also superior to tamoxifen in terms of survival and disease-free time. But the dangers/complications and side effect profiles are different. i.e some woman cannot tolerate femara (muscle & joint pain)but often those side effects resolve over time.

    • Makala Johnson
      Posted May 6, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Here is a reply from Dr. Pruthi:

      “The option to switch to Arimdex which is another anti-estrogen is only approved for postmenopausal women.
      It is common for perimenopausal women after age 45 who receive chemotherapy to go into menopause and can occur about 75 % of the time however, the menstrual cycles could resume even after chemotherapy has been completed. If an anti-estrogen such as Arimidex is given to someone who is still producing estrogen it may not be as effective and could even cause the menstrual cycles to resume and may even increase the risk of pregnancy.

      The challenge is determining if indeed the estrogen levels are decreased to postmenopausal levels. A hormone test called the follicular stimulating hormone (FSH) could be obtained as an indirect measure of the estrogen levels but is not a definitive test of menopausal status. Another option is talk to your oncologist about obtaining another blood test called estrodial that could be more closely followed every 3-4 months for about a year to be sure that the estrogen levels are indeed in the postmenopausal range.

      If your oncologist thinks you are ready to switch to Arimdex it is probably a good time as it appears from the history you are providing that you have not had any menstrual bleeding since 2008 and are in menopause. So, you likely do not need these blood tests to verify menopause.”

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