• How much percentage-wise does Tamoxifen alone (w/out chemo) reduce chance for recurrence

    Asked by AlizaMLS on Tuesday, February 26, 2013

    How much percentage-wise does Tamoxifen alone (w/out chemo) reduce chance for recurrence

    I'm a State I, ER+, PR+, HER-, invasive breast cancer that was caught early (in August 2012). I had a mastectomy in December (expander placed) and had an Oncotype test in which I scored 8 out of 100, indicating I don't need chemotherapy. Does anyone on the site know the approximate percentage that taking Tamoxifen reduces my rate for recurrence? I'd really appreciate this information. Thanks!


    8 Answers from the Community

    8 answers
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I wish I could help, but I don't remember percentages, but I know they do vary with Dx and individual....for me the benefit for AI's was quite larte.....I endured them for 3 1/2 years before giving up...and that was almost 3 years ago!!!!

      over 3 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      The statistics for recurrence aren't quite as simplistic as that and can't really be isolated to just one risk factor. Basically, a person that has high risk factors for recurrence is going to have a higher risk for recurrence whether they take Tamoxifen or not. Since Tamoxifen blocks estrogen from attaching to cell receptors, it reduces the extent to which estrogen promotes cancer growth should you have a recurrence. There are all kinds of numbers out there for various combinations of Tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors but it is all old data or based on cases that did not had a recurrence during the time they were taking tamoxifen. I took tamoxifen for 5 years and got a second primary breast cancer 12 years later.

      over 3 years ago
    • carm's Avatar
      carm (Best Answer!)

      Aliza, knowing that you are a medical librarian, you might try finding that answer at an open access peer reviewed site like PLoS One where you can feel safe knowing the data is not subject to influence by the pharm house. Best of luck to you. I know thats where I go to find fair objective data, Carm.

      over 3 years ago
    • grandmajean5's Avatar

      I don't know the technical part of it but the medical oncologist entered all my cancer info into the computer and told me that that with radiation and hormone therapy (no chemo), I had an 80% chance there wouldn't be a recurrence. Having chemo would increase it to 85% chance. I have no idea how reliable the data is but at 69 a 5% increase wasn't enough to make me go through chemo.

      over 3 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar

      Register on adjuvant online. You can enter your info, and choose no hormonal therapy, you'll see the numbers.

      over 3 years ago
    • Becky@UMich's Avatar
      Becky@UMich RN, BS, OCN, Cancer AnswerLine Nurse

      According to the American Cancer Society; women with hormone receptor-positive cancers, taking tamoxifen after surgery for 5 years reduces the chances of the cancer coming back by about half and helps patients live longer.

      What is most important is that you have a conversation with your doctor about the risk and benefits of taking tamoxifen. Talking with your doctor about what it means for your own individual situation, is the best way to learn more about how taking tamoxifen can improve your odds of remaining cancer free.

      While the www.adjuvantonline.com tool mentioned by another WhatNexter is a useful way of interpreting prognosis – it’s use is not encouraged by the patient without doctor or nurse assistance. Interpretation of some of the prognosis information for the individual’s medical situation can be difficult even for an experienced medical professional.
      If you want to see the estimates for yourself, I suggest you have your health care professional register to use the website so that they may generate and go over the results with you.
      Becky RN OCN

      over 3 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      Your score is super low - my understanding of the oncotype test is that a score like yours puts you in the well below 10% recurrence probability... My understanding of tamoxifen is that it drops your risk of recurrence by approximately 50%.... which would put you into the below 5% risk of recurrence...

      However, I am not a health care professional.

      So, I think you need to direct these questions to your health care team... ask them this question. Ask them what your probability of living disease free or having a recurrence or however you prefer to phrase it... ask them ALL of your questions, until you feel like you have a solid understanding...

      Only when you have answers can you make a decision about tamoxifen...

      I hope that helps!!! and be HAPPY that your oncotype score was so low - that's great news!!!

      Best wishes, and good luck.

      over 3 years ago
    • Benge's Avatar

      You and I are very similar! My cancer got caught in August 2012 also, I had my surgery in December with the expanders and I had a low score as well and don't need chemo. I am however post menopause which was a surprise to me! I didn't had a lot of symptoms so they put me on Arimidex which I have been told it reduces my chance by 1/3.
      How is your experience with the expanders? I'm calling mine my coconuts, they are so hard!! Can't wait till I get my replacements which will be beginning of May.

      over 3 years ago

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