sports, running and tamoxifen

I have been on tamoxifen for 15 months,radiation last year but no chemo. i felt OK right after surgery and the end of treatment but now I am starting to find muscle and foot pain is worsening. I was hoping to get back into running but my muscles do not seem to work as well and stuff hurts more and more. Has anybody else out there had simlar experiences and have you found anyting that works? I am 55, I take 60mg Arcoxia a day but now that is not helping as much. is there a cumulative effect with tamoxifen? Glucosamine does not seem to do much.

Hi Carolina,

I’ve been on Tamox for nearly nine months. I’ve suffered from joint pains from the beginning. Most of the problems have eased off a little, but my thumbs are awful! I do get pains in my feet if I walk too much. I am on 400mg Ibuprofen 4x daily and that just about gets me through (as recommended by consultant).

I have put lots of weight on with Tamoxifen and Zoladex injections. I like to walk but can’t go far anymore. I bought an exercise bike a few weeks ago and that’s been really good. I had a long chat with a guy in a fitness store and tried all kinds of machines. The bike was most ‘comfy’ for my joints. Having it at home cuts out the excuse that I’ve not time to go to the gym, and it’s helped my self esteem a lot. Not sure if I’m losing any weight yet, but at least I am making the effort.

Glucosamine – I spoke to a few GP’s about it. Some say ok, some say useless. You have to take it for a while before any results are noticeable. I work at a vets and we put dogs on glucosamine chondroitin and it works for them! I’d rather take natural products as I’m on a lot of meds, but must admit that I’m fed up of being in pain with one thing or another!

Not sure what to advise you. Might be worth having a chat to your GP. It’s not worth suffering!

Best of luck - be interested to know if you do find something to help.

–Jacki x


My dog and I share the Glucosamine & Chondroitin tabs I buy…

I’ve taken glucosamine for years for a dodgy back. It definitely works for me, as I notice a difference when I run out & forget to buy some more.

I’ve been on tamoxifen for 3 1/2 months now, and I feel stiff at times, but I thought that was the herceptin! I lost a huge amount of fitness when on Taxotere, and am struggling to get it back. I finally managed to run three miles on Saturday, the first time since before the tax.

Have been on Tamoxifen since mid Nov, i am trying to get back to running, doing beteen 2 & 4 miles about 3 times a week ( was doing more than this prior to diagnosis) Also gym & keep fit, so doing some exercise almost evry day. I am still getting tired & my knees and ankles feel quite stiff. I am also finding it hard to shift any weight at all! I am persevering since I will NOT let this bloody disease take away what I like to do.But I am wondering if the tamoxifen might be contributing to this as well as stiffness. Having said that, since June I have had chemo, mastectomy & , in Jan, radiotheraoy, which i only finihsed last Fri. Hoping joints etc will improve with time & can get back to the longer distances that I used to do ( I ran the London marathon 3 weeks before diagnosis & my ambition is to run it next year)
Cheers all


Im also on Taxoxifen and Herceptin and am also trying to get back running… it seems there are a lot of us about! I am finding it a huge struggle, when I run I am so out of breath, this seems to be my worst problem, joint aches so far I dont have (touch wood!)
MandH cant believe you are doing so much so soon after radiotherapy, no wonder youre tired! I ran FLM in 2005 and then ran only halfheartedly (stop and start) until last year when I got my diagnosis and stopped altogether (March 2007).
I am currently sat in my running gear and trying to persuade my 8 year old to come out with me (we live in Portugal and she is off school for Mardi Gras)!! It is so much easier not to go but Im determined to shift the pounds Ive put on and get fit again!
Sounds bad I know but glad its not just me struggling, I kept thinking there as something wrong with my lungs, but its probably just the complete lack of fitness that is killing me!
Keep running!
Polly x

Hi Polly,

Don’t give up! I’m just beginning to feel like I’m getting somewhere. It was a real struggle after the Tax (FEC was nowhere near as bad), my legs did not want to move, I was running really slowly. Finished tax 14 September, have had 20 rads since that.


Roadrunner, dont worry Im not going to give up! Just been out for a run up to the next villages, thats right “up”! It was very hard but I did it! It took me 15 mins running with a couple of walk breaks and then only 11 mins down with no stopping! Its so much easier running downhill.

I think were quite similar, I had last Tax on 5th September and have had 25 rads, last one on 5th November.


I have been on tamox and zoladex (with a around a year on arimidex) for 3 years now. Also had chemo, rads and herceptin had a very tough time getting back into the running but i found that the more exercise i did the more the aches and pains seemed to go - so i have tried to keep it up! No joy in shifting the extra weight either!
I have been lazy recently and the running has slowed down, i blame the rain - so i need to get back out there!!
Can someone give me more info on Glucosamine - never heard of it??

Hi Janet,

Glucosamine is a supplement for joint problems. It is supposed to be good for arthritis; I have been using it for years for a dodgy back. It helps to keep joints moving more smoothly and without creaks. You can buy it anywhere that sells vitamin & mineral supplements (Boot, Sainsburys etc) but I buy mine mail order as it is cheaper. There are loads of mail order companies that sell such things, I get mine from Goldshield. There are probably cheaper ones elsewhere, but I’m too lazy to look into it!

Returning to physical exercise after treatment for breast cancer can be a long process, as the body has been through some huge changes, due to the treatments. Breast Cancer Care have produced a DVD with the help of a team of experts from Sheffield and Manchester University on diet and exercise, after treatment- it is free and you can order it online, by going to the information section on the website,click on publications, then health and wellbeing, the DVD is called;

‘Eating well - being active DVD’

It is really encouraging to hear about your experiences of returning to exercise after treatment, keep letting us know how you are getting on, I am sure you are inspiring others to try exercise, even those who read but don’t post here.

Tara - Clinical Nurse Specialist

As Roadrunner says Glucosamine is supposed to be brilliant for joints, Holland and Barrett tend to always have it going on the 2 for 1. It can be very expensive but Im told its very good! Perhaps I will starting taking it again, I ended up giving my last lot to my mum cos I kept forgetting to take it!

Thanks Tara, I think I might have a look for that DVD, if anything it might stop me being too hard on myself and expecting too much from myself!

Keep running everyone!

By the way has anyone done any races yet. Ive entered for the Great North Run in October which Im hoping to run for Breast Cancer Care, if I dont get in Im hoping I will get an assured place from them! I will have to cross my fingers and hope! Cant believe Im hoping for the opportunity to run 13.1 miles!

Polly x

Thanks ladies - i will look into Glucosamine.
Re Races yes i have done quite a few, i did the fleet half marathon 2 years ago - it was a killer but i was pleased i did it.
I also did 2 10ks (one cancer research) towards the end of last year - i found that 10ks were much more enjoyable and achievable - i think the 1/2 marathon was a bit much!
keep running ladies

I ran the Race for Life last year in the middle of chemo, and am planning to do it quicker this year, then I will do a 10k too, maybe one of the Cancer Research ones in September.

I got the DVD last year in between surgery & chemo. I was very disappointed in it. The healthy eating advice was what you can read in any magazine, not specific to BC, and the exercise bit was depressing - it talked about how tiring chemo is and how the featured runner had to hang up his running shoes for the duration. While I accept this may be true for the majority, there are a minority of us who still exercise, and it would have been nice if the DVD had reflected this. It was only Jane Tomlinson’s example that spurred me on to keep up the running.

Hi Janet and Roadrunner,
So, now I have inspiration, other people who have got running again, and one it seems who didnt stop!
I have run 10ks, halfs and the London Marathon once in 2005 so Im used to races but not after what Ive been through the last 12 months! Im hoping that it will give me a focus as I always did need something to work towards to keep me going!
Like you say Jane Tomlinson is a real example of what can be done, I dont kid myself that I will ever do as much as she did, but I reckon at least if Im out there trying, thats one good thing! I will take your word for it on the DVD, usually these things are disappointing but I suppose they have to say something to the vast majority, those of us who have always exercised I think are in the minority!
Polly x

Hi all! I have finished my rads now, have kept up with the runnng so far but now have a bad burn under my arm that has gone all yucky so am going to have a week or 2 off while that heals. Really good to hear that others are running etc despite all we have been through. I am hoping to do a race for life & maybe aim toward Great South run in oct… long term goal is to do london marathon again in April 09. Going to Healthy Living day on22nd in London so hoping for further inspiration there!
Keep on running!
Mand xx

hi all those exercisers out there!!

I’ve bee n on tamoxifen 11 months, after have a lumpectomy and wide local excision 12 months ago. i had 15 rads which finished last june. I’m back running and have a place for the london marathon in april this year!!! cannot believe that my weight is not dropping like last time i did this marathon training in 2005. I am fortunate that i have not had joint aches, but my legs and body do feel tired sometimes!! i’m running 4 times a week and am up to 14 mile long runs… although they are overall about 45 minutes slower than when i ran this in 2005

Keep up the exercise everyone, and i must admit jane tomlinson really did spur me on when i first started getting back into the running.
when i’m running and getting a bit tired, or i’ve reached “the wall”, i start saying to myself over and over " i can do this, i beat b.c, i can do this"
seems to work for me and keeps me going!!!
well done everyone :slight_smile:

Hi Fozzie - Fantastic, good luck with the marathon training! Its really encouraging, please keep us up to date with your progress!!
Mand xx

hi everyone,

Hope youre all still running! My 18 year old son has been at home recently (usually at uni) and Ive had him as a running partner last 2 times. He is sooo fit compared to me it is untrue, but he is also really encouraging and its lovely being able to run with someone else.

MandH and Fozzie, I ran the FLM in 2005 and would love to do it again! Fozzie, keep training hard, I think the parallels of training for the marathon and getting through chemo etc. are really interesting by the way! Its that same working towards an end point i.e. end of chemo or end of marathon and feeling really bad as you do it! My legs were knackered with shin splints 4 weeks before the FLM but somehow I just had to run it, it was hard but I am so glad I did. Mike Tomlinson wrote that he thought Jane was such a plucky and brave runner because of her experience of chemo and Ive heard from quite a few people who have become better runners since cancer! Not sure how that works or if I really believe it, but hey ho!

Carolina, you started this thread which I think has managed to unearth some runners on the forums, hope you are feeling better and perhaps have managed to start again. I have found the Runners World forums really good, going to the beginners section and seeing how everybody struggles when they start off, with or without the problems weve had, made me feel so much better and also made me not expect so much from myself.

Keep running!
Polly x

Hi everyone,

Thought I’d let you know that I’ve just got back from a week’s skiing with the family. Am now just one year on from dx.

I can no longer keep up with the kids (12, 15 & 18) and did find it tiring, but I skied everyday day, some days all day. Unfortunately I twisted my knee on the final day, so no running for a little while, but I will be swimming tonight instead.

I’m so glad this thread is here - when I’ve mentioned running on other threads I seem to get a load of feedback about how others can barely get around the house, and I am some sort of freak if I’m still running. No disrespect meant to the ladies who don’t exercise, but I’m very glad to know I’m not the only one.