Not sure whether to start hormone therapy ...

Hi everyone. This is my first time posting on a forum but I’ve visited this site during my diagnosis and found this community to be so kind and supportive. I had a lumpectomy in October 2016 and for treatment my doctor recommended that I have radiation in conjuction with hormone therapy after surgery. I didn’t do radiation and for my check up in April 2017 she told me that I should at least try hormone theraphy … but my body has always had a hard time with medicines and I’m scared to do this. I’ve already been through menopause and I’m not sure how this is going to effect me. I have an appoitment this coming Tuesday to see the oncologist but I’m sacred to try hormone theraphy because I don’t know whether this will be good or bad  for me, plus I know the pills can be very expensive and I just really don’t know what to do. Another problem is that my husband doesn’t know that I was diagnosed and went through all of this and I’m scared and worried.  Can anyone give me some advice? Any advice would be greatly appreciated and I wish you all peace and strength.

-Viv :smileysad:

Hi Nana,

Obviously it’s your choice at the end if the day, but tbh, I would find it very difficult to live with a cancer recurrence & having to go through further more difficult treatments down the line, if I had not, at least, tried the treatment plan. Quite honestly, I’m quite happy to take a daily pill to reduce this risk. I also see that you say you did not have radiotherapy. 

Many of us are fine on hormone therapy, or at least find any side effects manageable & as ever, the only way to find out how you will be on it is to try it. If side effects are an issue, then there are ways to manage it & your team will advise on this.

Also, understandably, those having problems will post here, not those ladies who are tolerating hormone therapy well, so what you read here is not necessarily representative of everyone’s experience. I have been on hormone therapy (tamoxifen) for a year without any problems. 

Do look at Moijan’s posts HERE about the implications of treatment decisions. 

Wishing you the very best on this. 

ann x




Hi Nana

I can only echo the post below. I have been on hormone tablets for over 4 months now and can truly say I have had NO side effects whatsoever right from Day 1. I know that might change, but even if I do get some later on, it would not make me stop taking it, because, quite simply, i do not want the cancer to recur. You have nothing to lose by giving it a try. I too am well post-menopausal, and I actually think that may be why I’ve had an easier time of it - there obviously wasn’t too much oestrogen knocking around in the first place, so the tablet was not such a shock to the system as it may be for ladies who are younger and therefore the drop in oestrogen would be more sudden for them. As Ann-m says, you will find this forum inevitably has posts from people who are struggling, and fewer from lucky sods like me who have sailed through it all (including rads) and I sometimes feel a bit shy of posting so as not to seem smug, unless it is to reasssure, like now. My quality of life is even better than it was before diagnosis - thinner, fitter, more energy - and the reason I’m up early today is 'cos going on a boat ride with friends and SO glad to still be alive. Do all you can to make sure you stay alive too. xxxxxxx

Hi Nana again,
I’ve just seen from your that your husband is unaware of all of this. Goodness, it must be so difficult dealing with this on your own. Is this the reason you didn’t have radiotherapy?
Are you able to talk to your husband about it? You don’t mention chemo, so I assume your bc was at an early stage & not one of the more aggressive types, in which case, if you’re concerned about worrying him, he can be wholly reassured that your outcome is excellent.
So sorry to hear you are scared & worried. It may be an idea to ring the helpline above to talk things through.
do take care
ann x



I can only echo what the other ladies have said, it really is worth at least a try.  I too am post menopausal at 59 and have been on Tamoxifen for 7 months now, yes there are side effects and they have to be listed but everyone gets any or all of them,  Mine was early stage, I had rads and obviously now on these tablets for 5 years, but I realy consider the side effects a small price to pay in an effort to prevent a recurrence of something that took me totally by surprise as I was diagnosed as a result of a routine mammogram and had no clue, felt no lump nothing.


It is yoru decision but please make an informed one and I too would suggest that you look at Moijan’s post that ann has put a link in her post to.


Sending you lots of hugs and I do hope you find a way of telling your hubby what has happened because lady you have come through it all and are still here to tell the story


Helena xxx



Just noticed your comment about the pills being expensive.  If you are in the UK, which I assume you are, as you have had cancer you will be entitled to free prescriptons for the duration of your cancer treatment, which includes the hormone tablets.  This will also include any other prescriptions you might require during that time regardless of them being for cancer.  It is called an NHS Medical Exemption Certificate


Your receptionist will be able to give the small form you need to complete and sign, they will then get the GP to sign it, send it off and you should have your form within 7 days.


Helena xxx

Doh Helena …I knew that and forgot about it …I got free prescriptions for the full five years I was on tamoxifen …
I hope a lot of other ladies reading will be able to take advantage of it now you have reminded them.
Every little bit of help …

hi Viv,
Thanks so much for your post.
Well, it sounds like your bc was caught nice & early. Like you, mine was detected by routine mammo, so there’s no reason why there should be any problems. Thank goodness for mammos!
Due the anxiety when going through this, I think we’ve all felt aches & pains, but as you have an early diagnosis with no evidence of spread, there’s no reason at all why it would have got anwhere else.
Wishing you the very best with it all & do come & chat whenever you need to.
ann x