Tamoxifen Experience?


It has been suggested my mother take tamoxifen now she has finished her chemo and had an op. I can see the logic in it as she has oestrogen receptive cancer Has anyone out there had long term experience with this or benefited from it?

I would be really interested to hear you replies as she currently doesn't want to take it and positive outcomes are difficult to find as its difficult to say if the cancer would have remained repressed if one does or doesn't take it.

7 Replies

  • Christina and I often discussed this 'scenario' be it Tamoxifen or Letrozole or anything that 'on paper' might just delay any recurrance.

    Sorry i know i am not actually answering your question, but we also saw the logic in it but could never find out why it isnt standard......I may be wrong, but i think that most people will take Tamoxifen, Letrozole etc once a few chemos have been tried and the sob returns....

    If your Mum is being offered this then in my opinion she has the type of Onc i wish my wife had i.e a pro-active one rather than a reactive one.

    Just wish you the best of luck.


  • Hi, I haven't taken Tamoxifen, but I went on a trial last year with Anastrozole, another drug they hope to use with hormone receptive tumours. I figured that if there was a chance it might help with the fight against the disease, I would give it a try.


  • If it's of any help I am on Letrozole. It does the same job as Tamoxifen. I've been on it for 2.5 years now and it is working for me and keeping it at bay. It will stop working at some point but at the moment I am lucky to have had that length of time and with good quality of life. Your mother has nothing to lose and possibly plenty to gain but why not give it a go.

  • Can I ask what the side affects are..If any with Letrozole. Hope it carries on keeping it at bay for a long time for you. Good luckx

  • Hi LindaB

    I have tolerated Letrozole very well with minimal problems. I already had problems with my feet and ankles due to chemo and with very low platelets and damaged bone marrow I cannot have any surgery or chemo now that's why I'm on Letrozole for 'quality of life'.

    It has made the feet worse but I have learned to live with it and I work round it and have found ways to relieve it especially at night time when it can affect your sleep. I think if you get a good nights sleep it's half the battle. Please let me know what your decision will be but I feel extremely lucky to have been on it for 2.5 yrs and able to lead a normal life. I asked my Professor what is the longest time for any of your patients and he said he had 1 lady who managed 5 yrs so i've told him it would be my intention to beat that record.

    Sending a big hug for you


  • Thank you so much for the reply, there is definitive answer is there - just suck it & see so to speak...

  • Because so many women with breast cancer take tamoxifen or one of the aromatase inhibitors (anastrazole, letrozole or exemestane), there is quite a lot about the side effects and how to deal with them on the Forum of Breast Cancer Care's website. You can read it without having to sign up, but it is quick and easy to sign up and you don't have to have breast cancer to participate.

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