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Second thoughts about Tamoxifen...

8 REPLIES 8
ann-m
Community Champion

Re: Second thoughts about Tamoxifen...

Hi Gabii,

I think most of us sort out some lifestyle issues when diagnosed with bc, but I now don’t dwell on the ‘what ifs’ & who knows? It could well have happened anyway!  Those who are fit & well & do all the right things can get it & mostly, others with less healthy lifestyles don’t get bc. 

So good to hear where you are with it all & thanks for sharing. 

ann x

 

Gabii
Member

Re: Second thoughts about Tamoxifen...

Thanks for all the comments. Mine was more like a wish rather than a decision... I spoke to my doctor and because of my family history and my type of cancer I have best chances if I stick to the T.
But I am changing my diet to support my immune system. I haven't been that careful before and that's probably why my body wasn't ready to fight back.
I appreciate each one of your inputs and I hope this was also useful for anyone who had second thoughts about Tamoxifen.
Ms Merton
Member

Re: Second thoughts about Tamoxifen...

Dear Gabii - i agree with all the other ladies on this thread. Healthy lifestyle changes will improve your chances and make you feel better.  Using complementary therapies may help you cope better. These are all good things. But none of these things can actually stop your cancer coming back.  Tamoxifen can stop your cancer coming back.  That’s the difference, and anyone who says otherwise is misguided, mistaken or lying. Jane Plant famously advocated a dairy-free diet for BC sufferers to avoid recurrence but she herself also took Letrozole!  It’s a case of as well as, not instead of. Please do discuss with your doctor what medications, lifestyle changes or complementary approaches might help you to live with any side effects better.  I do hope you feel better soon. Xx

Kate21
Member

Re: Second thoughts about Tamoxifen...

Hi Gabii, I’m on Letrozole not Tamoxifen but have had similar thoughts as you. I’ve been on Letrozole now for two years but I also made many lifestyle changes when I got my diagnosis. I cut out all sugar (I did continue eating fruit but initially reduced the amount) and dairy (apart from a little goats milk in my daily cuppa), I generally follow an organic plant based diet but do eat fish a couple of times a week, mainly wild Alaskan salmon. I’ve never smoked or drank a lot of alcohol but now only have a very small amount, and only when at some celebration or other! I also go to bed earlier, I was a true night owl, and make sure I get more exercise. I also take some supplements which my Oncologist didn’t have a problem with. While I’d always eaten well, I did previously have a very sweet tooth. After 3 months my scan showed NED and ‘touch wood’ they have remained that way but I have one coming up, so will see! I have often toyed with the notion of stopping my Letrozole but it doesn’t bother me too much and honestly, I don’t think I have the courage and would never forgive myself if then my scans changed! I don’t believe all I read about diet curing cancer but do firmly believe eating healthily can only be a good thing, and may help delay progression, and agree with Optimissy about the body and helping with side effects too. I was a nurse on intensive care for many years so appreciate how important blood glucose levels, acidity etc are. That said, a little bit of what you fancy does you good and don’t think anything on the odd occasion hurts too much. Please get all the information before you make any decisions and remember some of the people on line who claim to have cured themselves with diet etc, don’t necessarily give the full story! Take care xx

RoadRunner
Member

Re: Second thoughts about Tamoxifen...

I agree with Sue - if you have had cancer your immune system has already failed you.  Why would you rely on it to prevent a recurrence?  Tamoxifen really is a wonder drug. In a meta study done in 2011 tamoxifen reduced the recurrence rate by half for women who had taken tamoxifen for five years.  This looked at over 20,000 women, so cannot be ignored.  

 

I'm sure we all agree that due to modern medicine our lives are much better than our ancestors' - think of all those deaths from infectious diseases, infected wounds, diabetes etc, things that we take for granted now we can prevent, cure or manage.  We wouldn't say 'don't give me antibiotics to cure that meningitis, just let me take my chances with exercise ' or 'don't give my type 1 diabetic child insulin, we'll just manage it with diet and hope for the best'.  So why do poeple think this way with cancer?  It baffles me.  If side effects are intolerable that's different,as you need to consider quality of life for an uncertain (personal) benefit, but otherwise why would anyone pass up on a way to reduce the chance of recurrence significantly?

Sue C
Community Champion

Re: Second thoughts about Tamoxifen...

Hi

I must agree with Ann. If our body has the power to heal and fight cancer itself, then I would question why we get cancer in the first place.

I think if hormone therapy is tolerable then it surely is a good idea? I don't think think I could give it up, otherwise I would be spending all my time worrying about a reoccurrence.

Best wishes

Sue xx

Optimissy64
Member

Re: Second thoughts about Tamoxifen...

Hi Gabii    I would heartily echo what Ann has said. I wonder how long you have been using the tablets? If not for very long, the symptoms may improve in time, and if for longer, then maybe a change of brand would help - people often find significant improvements after changing their brand. 

 I am with you on the ability of the body to help itself though - I've made huge lifestyle changes and currently feel "as fit as a butcher's dog" - 2 stone lighter, more exercise, masses of fruit and veg, non-smoker - to help to prevent a recurrance. BUT I am still taking the hormone therapy, as I would prefer not to have cancer again if at all possible. These lifestyle changes also have the advantage of minimising or preventing the side effects of the drug, which in my case are almost non-existant. I had achey hips before bc due to arthritis, and that is either the same or occasionally a bit better than before due to being lighter; getting out and about in the sunlight is good for mood. As you say, do discuss with your doctor and think very carefully about the pros and cons. Good luck with whatever road you go down. xxx

ann-m
Community Champion

Re: Second thoughts about Tamoxifen...

Hi Gabii,

I personally am sceptical about claims about ‘natural’ healing, as cancer is an aggressive disease & the conventional treatments recommended, are well researched with proven outcomes. 

Tamoxifen is well, established & has proven track record in markedly reducing the risk of recurrence. Unless it was for very good reasons & in agreement with the oncology team, I would always choose to continue as I would find it much more difficult to deal with a recurrence, if I had not followed the recommended treatment plan. 

I wish you well with it all. 

ann x

 

 

Gabii
Member

Second thoughts about Tamoxifen...

I am doing my research and the more I know about the drugs ( Tamoxifen in my case too )the more I want to stop and go the natural way, which gives back our immune system the power to heal and fight as it should be.
I am waiting to see my doctor again for new set of pains and itchiness on my breast and
all sorts of side effects, the most recent and still going on is an awful taste in my mouth.
I hope to find the courage to stick to one or the other way.
As this treatment is for prevention I am having questions wether this is really preventing or bringing new problems.
I must say my side effects are little ( depression, urine infections, lumps in my tongue) compared to others but I must share my experience.
I will appreciate your views, your experience if you had stopped Tamoxifen or if you simply had any thoughts about it.
I appreciate every decision to tackle the cancer but is hard to take the tablets once you hear about the real power of cure which is in our body.
All the best whatever we decide!