Tamoxifen or no Tamoxifen? - MzKindra

Decision Point Associated with Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma . Posted on April 7, 2014 View this journey (9 Experiences)

My breast cancer journey has been the most traumatic and isolating experience of my life, as I'm sure is true for many survivors. I am not sure that I want to take Tamoxifen because it seems like it will extend that connection to something I want to disconnect from. The side effects seem to outweigh the benefits, and there are no stronger assurances that I won't get cancer anyway. Am I wrong? I'm only 36 and I've never had children. The thought of uterine cancer or hot flashes or lost sex drive for a 50% decrease in cancer risk seem foolish. What if I get the other 50%?

5 Comments
  • cbanks' Avatar
    cbanks

    Hi Mz. At such a young age this is a tough decision for sure. Yes for me this whole experience is an life-altering moment. Some of us are similar yet we are unique. For me i listened to the doctor and weighed out the risks to the benefits. Thought long and hard and made my decision. I feel lucky that I have an option to continue treatment that may prevent a recurrence. 1 yr on tamoxifen. Side affects reduced. Some days better than others. But grateful I have this option to continue treatment. It's a big decision. Take the time to think and you will make the best decision for you. Peace!

    over 6 years ago
  • monamo's Avatar
    monamo

    I have no advice - only to say that I'm very interested in the replies you receive as I'm close to that point myself. Two weeks from exactly this moment I'll be in surgery - then the rest of the journey will be determined. So glad you're here - there are wonderful supportive folks all around us :-)

    over 6 years ago
  • peachpoppy's Avatar
    peachpoppy

    I just started Tamoxifen 1 month ago and assumed I would have a ton of side affects. So far I don't think i have any. I can't exactly tell because I still have a lot of joint pain and stiffness from chemo. But overall it's been pretty effortless to take the daily pill.

    As for other side effects, due to your age, I can't really help much. I am 43 and have already had kids. I'm not anywhere near ready for menopause, but don't have fertility or anything like that on my mind. Hopefully others can chime in with their perspectives.

    Good luck.

    over 6 years ago
  • MzKindra's Avatar
    MzKindra

    Thanks for the input everyone. My PCP (who I trust immensely) suggested I get a second opinion before making a final decision on whether to take Tamoxifen or not . I had pretty much decided it wasn't for me. Well, I saw the doctor she referred me to yesterday, and she was wonderful! She explained everything in detail, and even had a computer simulation to show me my risk factors without Tamoxifen and benefits with it. She told me the truth, which was she has still had patients with my diagnosis who took the drug still have recurrence and pass away. Put she also said that at my age, 36, and being diagnosed so young (35), she would highly recommend starting the 5-year dose. It is more beneficial for my health. Also, weight--loss would aid as well. I am already working on that part. Basically, she helped me see how Tamoxifen is not an evil destructive drug that will stop me from being feminine, like I thought. I'll start right away and see how it goes. If at any time side effects become unpleasant or difficult to handle, we'll deal with it then.

    over 6 years ago
  • monamo's Avatar
    monamo

    Thanks for sharing update MzKindra. I'll be starting tamoxifen soon also. I'm curious about the unpleasant side effects (hot flashes and mood swings specifically) - for anyone willing to answer - about how long after you start taking tamoxifen do they start, do they tend to be more intense at beginning or at some other point and then level out or does the craziness continue for as long as you're taking the med? Thanks :-)

    over 6 years ago

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