Tamox or Anastrozole? Which would you start with?

Hi. I was given the choice if either drug as have had a hysterectomy so no ovaries & Anastrozole was an option as well as Tamoxifen. The Oncologist explained that Tamox gives worse hot flushes and increases appetite (weight gain) and Anastrozole causes less hot flushes but makes joints stiff. I opted for Anastrozole. Now I’m not too sure I’ve made right choice. Friends who have bc have all been on Tamox, some have gained weight and hot flushes okay but on reading here some ladies have terrible joint pain, their hair has thinned and they feel ‘old’. Apparently, with Tamox, you still have oestrogen circulating but the Tamox stops it attaching to cells but Anastrozole wipes it out oestrogen completely. I know from reading up that it has to a slightly higher benefit in preventing recurrence than Tamox but it’s only marginal. I’m thinking refusing too many cakes may be easier to live with than an old creaking bod at 54 plus I have an 11 year old to get up every morning for school and I need energy. My diagnosis was grade one, 1cm, no nodes. I was very lucky. Rads will bring recurrence % to 97%, add drugs to 98%.

Hi C,having heard the experiences of many of the ladies on the August rads thread, if I was given a choice I would go for Tamoxifen as at least the side effects are temporary and if you decided to stop taking it that would be that.You have such a low percentage gain I would keep my options open.I have been taking Tamoxifen for 5 weeks and the side effects are settling down ,I do still have some joint pain but bear able ,obviously though everyone is different .

Thanks Jill. Going to stick until end of packet as I get a bone scan out of it and am interested to know what state they are in. Then I may change to Tamoxifen and maybe back to Anastrozole for last 2 years? Going for rad set up on Monday which will be 12 weeks post op. By the way are you getting free prescriptions as until I read something on the Macmillian website I was unaware that cancer drugs were free. Cx

Yes ,my G.P told me and gave me a form to sign and they complete and send off for you.You get free prescriptions for everything for 5 years then you can apply for a further 5 if you are still taking cancer drugs.You have had to wait a long time to start your rads haven’t you,I started week after the planning appointment.

You can also claim back for a certain amount of time any prescription charges before your exemption card comes through, I had around £50 back! 

Hi. I started taking anastrazole in January. Yes, I do get aches and pains but have noticed that the more exercise I do the better I feel. For the last couple of weeks I have walked most days and done a few minutes yoga and feel better than I did before all this treatment started. I must admit when the oncologist told me that would work I was very sceptical especially as exercising was the last thing I felt like doing but so glad I listened to him. X