Starting tamoxifen and rads?

I’ve had mast/axil clearance/chemo ecx3 tax x 3 and am now on with radiotherapy. HER2 pos.
Oncologist gave me a prescrition for tamoxifen just wondered if I should start taking the tamoxifen after I’ve finished my 15 sessions of rads - read it in another post somewhere and if so why??

Hi 1234
There seems to be some variation in opinion between oncs on this Mine prescribed Tamoxifen when he saw me one week after surgery (I had my chemo before surgery) and said I could start taking it straight away. The wait time for rads wherre I am (Scotland) seems to be double that for England/Wales/NI so that may be a factor - though I’m not sure why!

If it was me, I’d ring the BCN/onc/rads people and ask.

Hope it goes well for you.

I was told to start taking Tam on the same day my rads started - 3 weeks after chemo.


I think opinions do vary. I was told 4 weeks after last chemo. Onc said TAX and TAM are not a good combination and the body needs a little time to recover :)x

I was told to start tamoxifen before rads - was keen to do so as there was a long delay waiting for wounds to heal. Last week, halfway through rads, I was told by another onc to stop tamoxifen as there was a theory that it affected radiotherapy. Same hospital!!

Moya xx

Thanks everyone…doesn’t seem to be any research papers on this, unless you know different?

Interesting, I was told to start two weeks after last chemo and before I start rads? Will ask radiotherapy team I think, though I assumed the onc was overseeing hat bit too
Herbi x

I started femara after surgery and well before RADS. I tink it depends on the hospital

1234, if your tumour if HER2+, why are you being given tamoxifen? I don’t see the point of taking a drug that blocks the action of oestrogen unless your tumour was ER+. I think you should definitely check with either the oncologist or at least your GP and/or the breast care nurse that there hasn’t been a mix-up somewhere. It’s normal to start prescribed drugs as soon as possible unless told otherwise, so if you’re not sure, ask the prescriber. (You can do this by phoning his/her secretary and leave a message, ask to be sent a letter so it’s beyond doubt.)

Moya, I never heard about tamoxifen affecting rads, are you able to tell us any more about this please?

Thanks. I am oest +ive aswell and pre menopausal (well chemopaused now!)so that is why I have to start on Tamoxifen.
There is some research on an American credible site debating the pros and cons of when to start tamoxifen unfortunately chemo brain has prevented me from posting a link to it. It does seem that the jury is out as some say the cells should be “active” for rads to have maximum effect but drugs such as tamoxifen may affect this so it is best to wait.
I’ve waited since surgery October so what’s another 3 weeks in the bigger scheme of things and besides how will I know whether it’s rads, tamoxifen, herceptin or even the back end of chemo if I get any side effects surely one thing at a time is best ???

Hi I’m 8/8 er+ve too, like you 1234 chemo-paused age 48, but still menstruating regularly before chemo.

I spoke to my onc yesterday specifically about this question, and he said I could do either, but perfectly understood when I said I would wait until after rads so that I could be sure what (if there are any) side effects would be down to. He said in the scheme of things, a few weeks makes no difference.

Teresa x

that’s interesting, finished chemo six weeks ago, had MX / ANC two weeks ago, start rads in about three weeks. See surgeon on friday this week, but he told me last week he’ll write to GP re Tamoxifen, he never said not to start it after rads finished.

Ch xx

How are you doing with those exercises, Christine?! x

And so the debate continues !!! I have 3 rads left and will start Tamoxifen then. Thanks for all your post.

I started Tamoxifen yesterday.
Radiotherapy planning was yesterday and since my rads won’t start another at least two weeks, or more likely three weeks I don’t feel good about not taking Tam for another six weeks. My chemo finished 7 weeks ago already and no Tam as I had MX four weeks after last chemo. No doc spoke to me about when to start Tamoxifen. Maybe i give the BCN a ring on monday to have confirmed that taking Tam now is OK.
Teresa my exercising goes well, the rads ladies at the planning yesterday were amazed how well I can move my arm. Still pulling and feeling tight but getting there. Worst exercise is where I lay on the bed and have to put hand under head and slide hand upwards while elobow has to be flat on bed, difficult to explain, can’t manage that one very well at all. But walking hand up the wall goes very well, nearly fully stretched now.
Christine xx

Hi there

Jumping in from March chemo. Having neoadjuvant Fec x 3 and docetaxol x 3 Er+ and HER 2-. Been told will be on Tamoxifen but after surgery and RADS. As a matter of interest can somebody tell me if they had MX and recon at the same time? Also been told that I’d be having RADS after recon. I’m opting for DIEP as not really wanting implant. Has anyone had RADS after recon? If so how did you get on??

Thanks for reading.

Dani X