• I'm having a horrible time with my weight. Anyone had success with weight loss while on Tamoxifen?

    Asked by Nomadicme on Thursday, December 6, 2012

    I'm having a horrible time with my weight. Anyone had success with weight loss while on Tamoxifen?

    It also bothers me that my high BMI is linked to a worse survival.

    17 Answers from the Community

    17 answers
    • SueRae1's Avatar
      SueRae1

      I have been having issues with weight loss since I started chemo in Sept 09. I have managed to loss about 20 lbs (I still need to loss at least 60), and my latest cocktail has added about 10 lbs. Speak with you oncologist. Mine do not seem to concerned. Though I am frustrated, I just consider this another aspect of the "Bizzaro World of cancer".

      about 4 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar
      SueRae1

      BTW continue eating clean health foods to nourish your body.

      about 4 years ago
    • MollyAWelsh's Avatar
      MollyAWelsh

      I have lost 60 pounds since I started treatment. 30 pounds of it was before the Tamoxifen and 30 ponds of it after I started Tamoxifen. I am still taking it and continue to loose weight.

      about 4 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar
      Nancebeth

      I gained 14 pounds while on chemo. It seemed the only side effect I didn't have was nausea and I craved cupcakes so that didn't help. I only took Tamoxifen for 2 months because I couldn't handle the side effects. Now that I am off all drugs, I have started to lose my chemo weight.
      Try to eat healthy and exercise every day, even if it's just a walk.

      about 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      Don't assume the weight gain is due to Tamoxifen. There is no evidence that demonstrates that weight gain is a side effect of Tamoxifen and there are studies that show no significant difference in weight gain between those on Tamoxifen and those on a placebo. Successful weight loss required more calories expended and/or fewer calories eaten. Weight gain among cancer survivors is most often the result of reduced physical activity during and after treatment.

      about 4 years ago
    • RMR's Avatar
      RMR

      I was on a plan of exercising and eating right before I got diagnosed with cancer. After diagnosis I benefitted from the stress diet (which I do not recommend). I have always been an avid exerciser but have also always had a weight problem. When all is said and done from March 2011 (a month before my diagnosis) to today I have lost 50 - 60 pounds. I seem to fluctuate within a five pound range since I started taking tamoxifen about a year ago. So with lots of exercise and eating pretty well I have been able to maintain. I would like to lose another 10 pounds, but do not know if that is realistic. I am working on endurance and building muscle and hope to get in better shape and am trying not to worry too much about what the scale says. My advice is eat right, exercise, see how you do and discuss any difficulties with weight loss with your oncologist. Good Luck. Here's to survivorship.

      about 4 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar
      Nomadicme

      @RMR, could you share some of your diet/exercise regime? Chemo also pushed me into menopause, which I believed lowered my metabolism. I'm glad you're losing weight, gives me hope.

      about 4 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar
      Nomadicme

      @nancyjac My oncologist told me about the study, and the lack of evidence backing Tamoxifen as the agent behind the weight gain. However, BOTH oncologists I saw told me their BC patients universally complain of weight gain. So the anecdotal evidence indicates weight gain while on Tamoxifen.

      about 4 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar
      karen1956

      I'm one of the few who lost weight on chemo and while on AI's...when I stopped them, my weight has crept back up.....

      about 4 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar
      Carol-Charlie

      I want to hop in on this. I lost 45 lbs in one day. :) Right I did. A 39 pound tumor on my right ovary, left one, and liquid... two other cancer masses on my intestines and euretha.... This of course, was the day of debulking surgery. Seriously. THEN that little kid doctor puts me on steroids and announces I will not be allowed to diet, I had both knees replaced right after getting off chemo... It was wonderful to walk pain free again. I exercised and managed to lose quit a bit of weight. I gained it back. Now I'm going to watch what I eat for Christmas treats, but, if you'd like to join me on a diet come January... we can hold hands and drink slimfast....

      about 4 years ago
    • LisaLathrop's Avatar
      LisaLathrop

      I chose to use ViSalus to lose the 55 lbs I gained during chemo treatments and my bone marrow transplant. It is a fully nutritional, meal replacement shake. The benefits far outweighed the weight loss....it gave me more energy, reduced my "chemo brain" significantly and in 9 months I lost 25 pounds. I became a distributor to share this great product with my friends and family...and anyone who was healing from cancer or obesity and diabetics. It also helps with migraines. It is the largest, fastest growing home-based health product on the market today. Total nutrition, too! Check out the video on my site for more information....and if you have any questions, feel free to email me. Good luck in your journey!! www.lisalathrop.bodybyvi.com

      about 4 years ago
    • mysecondchance's Avatar
      mysecondchance

      I have fought the weight battle my whole life. I lost 45 pounds during treatment but by the end had gained back 30 and in time all of it. I joined Weight Watchers in September of last year (I am actually a lifetime member) and only lost 20 pounds in a year. I stuck to the program but it seems my ability to lose weight has diminished. I started Tamoxifen in July and talked to my oncologist about the possibility of weight gain. She said not to stress about my weight right now. I have always been able to lose a lot of weight in a short time. This is so frustrating and especially since no on but me thinks it's strange to only lose 20 pounds in a year when I am following the plan and exercising. I haven't really noticed any difference since I started the Tamoxifen. I feel the change came during treatment. People keep reminding me of my age and I know that probably makes some difference but I was losing weight with portion control right before my diagnosis two and a half years ago. I am not that much older now.

      about 4 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar
      Nomadicme

      @musecondchance. I read an abstract yesterday, it read that Tamoxifen changes lean body mass composition, so I guess it's like extra aging. I went from 40 to 60 in a year! Cancer, the gift that keeps on giving.
      I'm trying to follow the Eat to live plan by Dr Furhman, it's not easy...

      about 4 years ago
    • tombo's Avatar
      tombo

      wow ,,you girls are having a problem with weight,,for some reason,,i though i was going to lose alot of weight during chemo,,and then i would look like a cancer patient!!,,so i prposly drak smoothies every morning,,concocted from all differnt fruits and veggies,,what ever was on sale,,i always include,,cinnamin,,fresh ginger,,and honey,,anyhow,,i am about 15 lbs over weight,,but after a year and a half of chemo,,i fear i am losing all my muscles,,its very hard for me to exercise,,i am sooooo tired all the time,,my advice is to eat as healthy as you can,,,almond milk,,green tea,,etc...also,,i saw a nutritionist on tv the other day,,he said,,forget about the diets over the holidays,,DONT,,frustrate yourselves,,and do your diet at the new year,,ok,,,bye,,have a great day,,,xo mike,,and yes,,suerae,,the bizzaro world of cancer continues

      about 4 years ago
    • Myungclas' Avatar
      Myungclas (Best Answer!)

      I have never ever had a weight problem. I've been a runner all my life and weighed exactly the same from college to chemo. I lost 9 pounds during chemo and put it back on slowly after that. My doctor warned me that tamoxifen would affect my lean muscle mass and lower metabolism but I didn't believe him. It is absolutely true. I am transitioning to "old lady shape" even with a healthy diet and workout regime. I'm determined to fight it, but I don't feel like I'm winning at this point.

      about 4 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar
      Nomadicme

      @Myungclas Thanks for sharing this, honestly some onc either don't know or don't care enough to share this information, I had to find the paper on my own,,,recently. Sounds like you have a great oncologist. I'm bummed that I have to try that much harder now, to be a normal weight. I'm honestly considering gastric sleeve in Mexico. I've been through a lot of surgeries, why not one more?

      about 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      I agree that there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to indicate that weight gain during and after treatment for breast cancer is common. However, it is just as common in patients who don't take Tamoxifen as part of their treatment as it is for those that do. Cancer treatment and its side effects, whether it be chemo drugs, surgery, radiation, or estrogen blocking/reducing drugs such as Tamoxifen or AIs, all have the secondary effect of limiting physical activity levels thereby reducing the amount of energy (calories) expended. Without a corresponding reduction the the amount of energy (calories) consumed, the result will be weight gain. This happens whether your have had cancer or not. And it often happens in women once they hit menopause, whether naturally or prematurely due to induced estrogen depletion. It isn't Tamoxifen that causes weight gain, but it may be the benefits of Tamoxifen (estrogen reduction) that contributes to weight gain by unbalancing the calories in/calories out equation.

      about 4 years ago

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