• Tamoxifen - to take or to take natural?

    Asked by MamasLibrary on Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    Tamoxifen - to take or to take natural?

    My Dr. is suggesting that I take Tamoxifen for 5 years. I am currently 29, this drug may put me into menopause along with other lovely side effects (hot flashes, change in taste buds, vaginal dryness etc). I know there are natural alternatives, but does anyone have experience with these?

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • mspinkladybug's Avatar

      question is what type of cancer did you have? did u have a high grade hormonal cancer? or a low grade? why o=does the onc want to put you on it?
      There is NO natural alternatives for this drug or for the others called Ais hormonal blockers. trust me if there was i would be on them! I am on femara i am 47 now grade 3 b/c i had a total hyst/ooph so I was put on Femara instead of tomx yes you are going to have side effect vaginal dryness is easy to deal with hot flashes canbe controlled with antidepressants and or low dosages aspirin. yes there is joint pain and no period for 5 years....
      only you can say yes or no to taking the drug if you have a high grade cancer if you alrady did chemo and rads why would you not want to take this drug when you are already doing everything to save your life?
      everyone woman will tell you the meds suck big time but in the long run worth it.but only you can deiced what is good for YOU!
      and if you are finished having babies then there are other options out there.

      about 5 years ago
    • PetraW's Avatar

      Dear MamasLibrary,
      I understand your concerns, I was the same way. After reading many of the testimonials of women on Tamoxifen I was very worried about the side effects. My biggest concern were any mental side effects impacting my ability to function with my full brain capacity. I had bad side effects through the chemo treatments in that area and did not want this to be further enhanced by the maintenance drug I was supposed to take for the next several years. I talked to many people and did a lot of research on the internet. In the end what convinced me to take it is the fact, that Tamoxifen reduces the recurrence rate by 50%. Now, this is on average and of course this can be different for each individual, but I decided to give it a try. My side effects are minimal. I take Tamoxifen in the evening, before I go to bed. If there are more side effects, I am sleeping through a portion of them already. I do have some hot flashes and I have some acne problems. I also have the vaginal dryness. However, there are methods to take care of the dryness. The acne I have is on my chest, shoulders, upper back and face. I use baking soda that I wet and rub on my skin, then rinse it off and this keeps the acne way down. The hot flashes are bearable. There are many things that could be worse. I do have to say, that I am 46 and had my two children. I know, that this is a sore point for someone like you, who is much younger. But by the time you are done with Tamoxifen, you are 34 and still will have plenty of time to have children. I had my kids when I was 37 and 39.

      The thing is, that we will never know, what the right answer is, but I decided that I would do anything I can to live as long as possible to see my kids grow up and to be around for them. I also want to get to a retirement age, where I can enjoy my time with my husband, family and friends. There are many things I want to do in my life. To support my cancer recovery and lessen the negative impacts of the drugs I am doing alternative things: I have changed my diet completely and eat mostly vegetarian, no sugars, transfats, etc. Read "Eat To Live", it gives many suggestions in regards to your diet. After the chemo I also did nutritional IVs with vitamins, minerals and trace elements. It helped to get my organs back to functioning well. I then did a colon cleanse to get rid of many of the toxins in my system. and I rearranged my priorities.

      Many times our attitudes are what makes the difference. Important for me: I never allow myself to fall into the mindset of being a victim. I don't feel sorry for myself. there is always something I can actively do to change my view or approach to look at things from a positive point of view. There are many blessings that came with the illness and gratitude is the key for my healing.

      almost 5 years ago
    • Clementine_P's Avatar

      Hi MamasLibrary,

      I have been on Tamoxifen for over a year. I started it when I was 41 after I finished with chemo. I have had very minimal side effects. You mentioned above that you will not get your period for 5 years. That is not the case. I, since I have been on Tamoxifen came out of "chemopause" and am premenopausal again. The Tamoxifen allows you to have estrogen/progesterone in your system but doesn't allow the cancer to bond with it. Each person is different, but it is likely (given your age) that you will become premenopausal again while on Tamoxifen. If your cancer was ER/PR positive, then taking the Tamoxifen could greatly increase your chance that you will not have a recurrence, yet allows you to be premenopausal and so you don't have to worry about all the potential problems associated with early menopause (osteoporosis among other things). I did not experience vaginal dryness. At the start, I did have hot flashes but after a few months those subsided entirely. My side effects are so minimal now that I would only consider them a nuisance and the help that the Tamoxifen is potentially giving me greatly outweighs the side effects.

      I hope that if you decide to take Tamoxifen, that you have a similar experience to what I had.


      almost 5 years ago
    • Sunnydays' Avatar

      Was 44 last year when diagnosed. Have now had double mastectomy and in the process of reconstruction. Chemo put me into menopause last Spring. Started Tamoxifen last summer. Have not experienced any side effects. Hot flashes have reduced since chemo ended and started Tamoxifen. Still have some flashes but less often and less intense, so not a big deal. It is very frightening to read about all the possible side effects, remember they won't all happen to you, fortunately. I don't like taking all these meds and chemo since I was a pretty "natural" person all my life, but there is a lot of data to show that these treatments are effective enough to make the side effects worth the risk. I empathize with you - all the best.

      over 4 years ago
    • ArizonaDiva's Avatar

      I to am facing this question to take or not to take Tamoxifen. Thank you for posting the question and thank you for all that responded to it.

      about 4 years ago
    • Lynn1947's Avatar

      Ive been taking tamoxfin for 2 1/2 years.I had questions and concerns.I have reactions to some meds and worried the same problems could happen with tamoxifin.So far no problems. I have a friend who was Stage 3 and still living after 18 years.She chose a lumpectomy with Stage 3 and doing good.She took tamox for the 5 years and something else another 5 years. My doctor stressed to me "Everyone's Different.We must make our own decision. Hoping it's the right one.


      about 4 years ago
    • copland16's Avatar

      I have been taking Tamoxifen for a year in October. I also had questions. Everyone is different. I have had night sweats and that's about it. I'm wondering what your decision was...as this was an old question. If you went natural root what was it??

      about 4 years ago

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