1,823 to go

Tamoxifen pills…2 down, 1,823 to go.  So far so good, but it hasn’t been long enough to tell really.  So here is when I ask forgiveness ahead of time to all my friends if I have mood swings and act irrationally….for me….  ;-X

I hope for none, and watch out for the dangerous ones…. Tamoxifen is reported to cut the risk of recurrence to 50%, sometimes more (I think this depends upon the type of cancer).  So if my odds now are 10-15%, that number is brought within reasonable life events.  The good thing about Tamoxifen (actually 2)… it continues to work after stopping and it helps the bones, unlike the Aramatase Inhibitors.

The AIs have less serious side effects but it is a guarantee for osteoporosis and women who take it typically take injections and supplements for bone density.

Tamoxifen side-effects can be some of the following:

  • hot flashes (oh joy, I get to experience menopause all over again)
  • vaginal discharge or bleeding
  • mood swings
  • depression
  • weight gain
  • blood clots
  • endometrial cancer (2 out 1,000)
  • cataracts
  • uterine cancer (2 out of 1,000)

On December 13th, I meet with the Medical Oncologist who prescribed this – I want to explore the bone density drug Evista with him – studies show it slightly less effective at lowering the incidence of breast cancer in women who are at high risk 38% vs 50%, with less serious side effect of possible endometrial and uterine cancer.

Here’s some interesting links that support this:

Addendum: Just learned that Evista is offered for women pre-cancer – those at risk… once you have had breast cancer, Tamoxifen is the standard drug of treatment.  So, if you are at risk for breast cancer (history or BRCA positive) and have osteopina or osteoporosis, this drug is the drug of choice to help both point.

For those who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer, here is an excellent study to help you with decisions:

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