Concerned husband

Hello. This is my first post and I hope it will be a helpful one. My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer on June 2019. Over the summer she went through treatments and in her One year check up everything looks good.

She’s currently on tamoxifen. She’s having very bad side effects with joint pain in her hips. I feel bad that I am cannot help her anymore than I have been. Has anybody had success with anything to relieve the pain. Oils,Creams, stretching, change of diet? Anything. 
Thank you for your support.

-Helpless Husband 


Has your wife reported her symptoms to her breast-care nurse? If her pain is severe, the oncologist will consider an alternative hormone therapy. However, it may not be the tamoxifen so it needs to be looked at thoroughly and holistically by Oncology or by her prescribing GP. Meantime, her GP would get her to trial anti-inflammatory treatments. I’m on Anastrozole and suffering severe joint and muscle pain but we have eliminated the anastrozole as the cause. Rheumatoid arthritis has been ruled out so we are now considering whether some element of the chemotherapy is the culprit. It’s basically a mess but we’ll get there eventually.

You sound very much like my own husband, desperate to be able to make things better. He has been a rock but he made one major mistake - he forgot to look after himself and, for someone who is never ill, suddenly he was frequently sick. Fortunately this was pre-lockdown and Macmillan counselling turned him round again :slightly_smiling_face:  Do take time for yourself, particularly emotionally. You are NOT the Helpless Husband. It’s not your responsibility to find the solution, much as you want to protect your wife from her pain and discomfort - there are clinicians to do that. Your ‘role’ is to do what you are probably already doing very well - supporting and nurturing your wife as she deals with the post-treatment crap. Do that well and, I can assure you, you will be a complete and utter treasure!

Meantime, the medical herbalist at Breast Cancer Haven recommended a source of omega-3 oil that was purer than OTC versions. It’s Nuique, suitable for vegans too. I’m currently giving it a go but it’s early days. Omega-3 oil and glucosamine are the most popular OTC supplements, alongside a diet rich in oily fish and green vegetables. But I’m probably the last person to offer dietary advice. Chocolate is great (psychologically at least).

I wish your wife all the best - I know only too well what the pain can be like - and you a bit of peace of mind.

Jan x

RJKnight - you are most definitely not a “helpless husband”. How lovely of you to come on here and search for answers to help your wife.

You have had a lot of great advice from Jan, I’m not sure there is anything much I can add except to suggest that it could possibly be the brand of Tamoxifen that your wife is using that is causing her pain. Most doctors won’t accept that some people don’t get on with certain brands, but there are lots of chats on here where people discuss which brands suit them. Some people are fine with all brands, but maybe your wife could change brand and see if that makes a difference? But I do agree with Jan that it is worth speaking to her breast care nurse or consultant to discuss the pain. 

My very best wishes to you both, and I’m happy to answer any more questions you or your wife might have.


 I had Breast Cancer and all my treatment in 2017/18.

I found that yoga was really helpful as I did suffer with hip pain a lot,

On YouTube there are some really good videos for patients with Breast Cancer/Bone Pain.

I take calcium and cod liver oil supplements as well,

Also my local hospital did complementary therapies and I went for a massage every week for 6 weeks,which really did help a lot,

I take Tamoxifen and have Zometa infusions every 6 months,

I did find that the hip pain definitely does get better,try and keep moving as much as possible, even gentle walks,

Sending a big hug to you and your wife,

Best wishes xxxxx