Anyone else had liver problems since been on tamoxifen?

I had to go for an untrasound scan last week because I have been having pains in my side recently… The scan showed no sign of cancer but did show a fatty liver… I also recently found out that my birthday check-up last year showed a slight problem with my liver function - this was also the case with this year’s blood test…
So far I have only spoken to my bcn on the phone when she gave me the scan results last Thursday and she said she and the onc were not worried as it wasn’t cancer… But since then I have done some research on the web and tamoxifen and liver problems seem to be very common and i was wondering if anyone else has experienced this…

My side is very tender and painful which seems to indicate I have Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis ( as normally fatty liver does not cause pain. I go on holiday later this week and intend seeing my gp when I get back.

I am concerned though as to whether we should be thinking about me swapping from tamoxifen to another form of hormone treatment if it is causing my liver problems… I have been on tamoxifen since Dec 2008.

Theresa x

I have been on tamoxifen since aug 06 and after about 2 yrs started getting liver ache - for the first time ever in my life a could really feel it - went for scans - ct resulted in urgent call back for MRI (very worrying) - mri showed it to be a cyst - onc not worried as no cancer found - however I blame the tamoxifen as this was well after chemo and herceptin - bloods after proved normal counts - however i still get niggles, I have told both my GP and Onc I feel like a have a layer of lard all over my organs and under my skin - all they say is that i am doing well at keeping wieght gain at 10lbs (I do at least 3 hours minimum gymn classes + walk dog every day).

I keep saying I wont moan anymore re tamoxifen after it didn’t work on my friend and she now has secs - but I am 41 - been on constant treatment for over 4 years and it is starting to take toll now, keep saying only 1 year left - and now onc has told me there will be different drugs after!!!

Debs X

Hi Debs - thanks for replying…:smiley:

Like you I had never had any pains with my liver until the last couple of months… My bcn is meant to be sending a copy of my scan results to my gp so hopefully I will find out more then as we only had a very quick phonecall.

I am concerned about coming off tamoxifen as my bc was one of the most aggressive types (IBC) but am not even sure if I am now post-menapausal as I’ve not had a single period since I began chemo exactly 2 years ago so could presumably move over to ai if I am…

Be interesting to see if anyone else replies or if we are in the minority…

Theresa x

All bc treatment is very tough on the liver and combined with the fact most people today eat a diet far too high in saturated fat it is hardly surprising that conditions such as a fatty liver occur. (and you are more likely to be test as they would suspect secondaries).

When I was halfway through chemo I did a liver-support type diet (very similar to an anti-cancer diet, but for me it was about surviving chemo), it made a huge difference to me and reduced my se’s almost instantly.

Brisk walking every day is important too.

I don’t believe diet can cure cancer, but I do believe that I must do everything I can to reduce the chances of it coming back, to counteract all the effects of treatment and to make sure that I am fit and well to enjoy every day that I have.

I hate to say this - but I have had high Liver Function Tests ever since I have been on Arimidex ie since May 2006. So it is not just Tamoxifen that can cause this.

I now have signs of fatty liver. I have been told not to drink any alcohol and haven’t touched a drop for several years but in April unfortunately I lapsed and now drink a glass of red wine a day. This has not had any adverse effects on the LFT’s. Although they are still higher than they should be, they have gone down with drinking wine.

The reason I started to have a glass of wine a day… my husband had a heart attack in April and the cardiologist who is an expert in that field said to him that statistics have shown that it is better for your heart to drink red wine than not to drink red wine. So I have now decided to hedge my bets between my heart and my liver and drink red wine in moderation. Cheers!

Christiane x

Hi I too have been having liver pains - had ultrasound, and ct scan which showed liver as normal, but fatty the radiographer said, but did show up a cyst on one of the adrenal glands on the kidney. Oncologist said it was nothing to worry about. Liver pains come and go and are sometimes very severe - I am on Arimidex.

I have fatty liver to,I found this out when my LFT came back as slightly raised when I was diagnosed.I think mine is more to do with diet and weight as I don’t drink and had it before I started tamoxifen.Haven’t had any liver pain though (famous last words lol)

Mel xx

I too developed a fatty liver on Tamoxifen and I don’t drink alcohol, teetotal, just don’t like the taste. I’d had some raised LFT’s and as I already have bone mets I was concerned about liver mets. My liver ultrasound was clear but I was told my liver was ‘fatty.’ As I have bone mets I already do lots of walking to keep up my bone strength, also walked miles before diagnosis and have a good diet.
Have not had any liver pain.


Can I ask what sort of pain you’ve been having and whereabouts it is?
thanks, Elinda x

Hi Theresa
Like Elinda, I’m interested to know what sort of pain you’ve having. I’ve had severe pain under my right rib and in my back for the last week and thought it was maybe my gall-stones although I’ve not had an attack for about 4 years. I saw the Dr yesterday and she took blood to check my liver function.