how long after surgery before tamoxifen starts

hi ladies,

just wondered what the average is how long after surgery have people started taking tamoxifen.

is there a set amount of time before you can start?

TTM xxx


Mine was first appointment with onc after surgery, so it was around 6 weeks after last op. Started tamoxifen that day xx


I started mine pre-op but had to stop after 3 weeks as it messed a few results up. I went back on it about 10 days after surgery.

It seems again like everyone is different.


I started when I first saw onc 3 weeks after surgery. He saidf I could wait until after ads if I wanted, but I htought I might as well just get on with it.

6 weeks in and very little side effects so far.

I had Mx plus immediate reconstruction 27th Jan 2011 and didn’t start Tamoxifen until mid-September which was a few weeks after my chemo had finished(I didn’t have radiotherapy). I think it must vary dependent upon the order in which you have treatment.

Hope all goes well for you,


I had MX and immediate reconstruction at the end of June 2011. Didn’t start Tamoxifen until after it was decided that I didn’t need chemo. The BCN explained that if you need chemo they hold fire on the Tamoxifen because they don’t want anything supressing. They want to make sure they blast the little b*ggers!


Yes Ann I’ve just been told that as well. My Tamoxifen ride is a roller coaster. Just been told I’ll have to have chemotherapy so will have to stop taking it again (for the second time). then when chemotherapy finished back on during radiotherapy.



PLEASE can somebody be totally totally no holds barred and let me know what the side effects are on Tamoxifen ??? I have an appt nect week with onc and have been told I will have that and rads - all the side efects listed seem quite insignificant so I really need to know what I am up against !

Thanks so much.


Hi Ermintrude
I had lumpectomy in March 2011, rads in May - started tamoxifen April. I have read of all the possible SEs, & I didn’t seem to get any at first. However over the last few months, my sleep patterns are awful. Hot flushes have really kicked in for me, mostly @ night. I know it’s nothing in comparison to what others experience. I just feel drained @ the end of day because of waking up a lot. But I guess its to be expected at my age (51 next month). Bit like after having a baby constantly tired out. My memory seems to be bad too @ the mo,as my oh will testify!! Don’t get me started on some of the daft things I have done recently…lol I tell my oh it’s coz I’m busy multi-tasking. I work full time - don’t know how @ the minute.
Hey-ho, onwards & upwards, she says as another hot flush looms & consumes!
Keep smiling:)
Best wishes

Hi Ermintrude

Straight up - I had very, very minimal side effects with tamoxifen, if any. Sometimes I think I talked myself into having a hot flush but on the whole, I had an easy ride!

Good luck!!



We can all list our side effects, but what you have to remember is everyone is different. I had chemo (the strongest every 2 weeks, not 3), surgery followed by rads and have just got to the end of 12 months of Herceptin. All this was a walk in the park compared to Tamoxifen.

Within a couple of days I started with hot flushes day and night, insomnia, nausea, aches and pains so I could hardly walk and the depression was such that I felt suicidal. I work on the 27th floor of an office block in London and even thought that it would be a good idea to jump. And up to the point I have never had a depressed bone in my body. Not even through my diagnosis and treatment.

I stopped taking it after a couple of months and within days felt back to normal. I have an appt with my onc next week so am expecting a battle with her over it. I am happy with my decision for the moment, for me it is about a quality of life as well as any potential increase in quantity of life. I need to be able to function and live normally.

It is such a personal decision though which no one can make for you. You have to live every day and you have to be happy with the decision you have made. You have to thnk if it recurs however long down the line, would be able to say, that’s life or would you always wonder. I for one would be able to say that’s life, as I know people who have had recurrences long after Tamoxifen has finished and people who have never had a recurrence.

Sorry for rambling, good luck with whatever you decide.

Hi SamLee

I totally agree with you - everyone is different and everyone has different side effects. What a horrible experience you had and no wonder you’ve stopped taking it. Surely they can come up with something else? I’ve heard of a few people getting depressed too - a couple of famous actresses recently came out and said they had a really hard time especially with depression. I wish you all the best for your next appointment and hope they can come up with an alternative!


I have seen that the tablets also come in10mg but no one seems to have this as a dose. Am going to suggest to my onc that I try this and see if it makes a difference, but am definitely not going to take the full dose of 20mg.

It might keep her happy and half an amount might be better than none.


Thankyou so much - It is so nice to read honest hard hitting facts about SE !!! I am preparing myself and my husband for the worst but hoping and praying that the SE are minimal ! I ahave told him to ignore any horrible coments I make ! I also will be working full time through rads and tabs - fingers crossed I will cope - really trying to stay positive and all of you really help me.

Take care all of you and sending you very gentle hugs and kisses !!!

Sara x

thanks for the comments about how long after surgery you all started tamoxifen.

and thanks for heads up on side effects. i had already seen on here some the side effects people were experiencing, i do hope they improve for you all.

TTM xxx