Should I take Tamoxifen with a low ER+ pathology result?


My dilemma is should I take tamoxifen or not?

I was diagnosed in Jan 2014, had chemo, WLE with sentinel node biopsy, radiotherapy and herceptin. My pathology results are HER2 positive (hence the herceptin) lymph nodes clear, and ER2 PR3.

At my last appointment with my oncologist we discussed Tamoxifen and whether or not I should take it. He thinks as my pathology result is a weak positive then Tamoxifen would not really benefit me, in fact the side effects may outweigh any benefits. I was quite happy to go along with his opinion until he said ‘if you twist my arm I will prescribe it’ !! Now I don’t know what to do. I’m seeing him again next month to discuss it further.

Just wanted to collect some thoughts and ideas before I see him. Has anyone else been given this choice with low ER+ results?


Hello Silky

Welcome to the forums.

Whilst waiting for replies maybe you would like to talk things through with a member of our helpline staff who are there to offer emotional support as well as practical information. The free phone number is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 and Saturday 10.00 to 2.00.

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best wishes

June, moderator

My ER and PR weren’t quite as low as yours but everything else in my treatment was the same.  My onc gave me Tamoxifen and said to try it which I did and had horrendous side effects, so I stopped.  My surgeon however said that in his experience the Herceptin was more of a wonder drug along with the radiotherapy for preventing a recurrence than anything else.


I think what you need to ask yourself is would you feel better mentally if you took it or would be quite ok not taking it.


I was happy with my decision not to take it, I know it could come back, but then I am quite philosphical in that I could take Tamoxifen for 5 years, 10 years and then it could still come back.


Main thing you have to be happy in yourself with your decision.


Don’t know if that is of any help to you, but hopefully it is.