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Tamoxifen and Zoladex combi therapy anyone???

11 REPLIES 11
Lucy_BCC
Member

Re: Tamoxifen and Zoladex combi therapy anyone???

Hello Kirstykat and welcome to the BCC forums

Along with the support you will find here our helpliners are on hand weekdays 9-5 and Saturday 10-2 on 0808 800 6000 with practical and emotional support

Here's also a link to further support ideas from BCC and treatment information which I hope you will find helpful:

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/treatment

Take care
Lucy BCC

Kirstykat
Member

Re: Tamoxifen and Zoladex combi therapy anyone???

I was dx with ER+HER- 30mm breast tumour 13/2/13, 1 month before 40. They told me it was only grade1 and 8/8 oestrogen+ and I was put on tamoxifen and zoladex to try to reduce the lump. I did not find the injections painful at all, maybe this was due to fat stomach ...I experienced a lot of fatigue at first but this settled down. I think exercise helped with this. Hot flushes and night sweats were bad but acupuncture really helped these too. After about 4 months I noticed that my hair had really changed though, not so curly and thinned quite a bit. This was the worst thing for me. I did not get mood swings which was a big relief. I think this was the zoladex putting me in a sudden menopause. I actually felt more level in mood which was a positive. My periods stopped straight away. However my lump only shrank a tiny bit so I had to have 1/4 of breast removed and mini LD reconstruction. The oncologist still called it a successful treatment as lump did not grow and did shrink but not fast enough, they would only give it 6 months. I had to come off the tamoxifen before surgery but stayed on zodalex while appealing for fertility treatment, then having the treatment. My cancer was upgraded to a grade 2 after the surgery and chemo recommended. I am bracing myself for chemo now and thinking of going back on both zoladex and tamoxifen after the chemo mainly to avoid mood swings. My oncologist has said that if I am on the zoladex I could swap the tamoxifen to a different hormone therapy, one that is usually given to post menopausal women for example ...not sure about this. I wish I knew which one was affecting my hair so much, the tamoxifen or the zoladex?
Jickal71
Member

Re: Tamoxifen and Zoladex combi therapy anyone???

I was Dx with grade 2 invasive BC Er/Pr++ in August 2013. After 3 FEC they stopped treatment because it was damaging my liver. I had a WLE in December and my oncologist started me on tamoxifen and zoladex together. It's been two months now and I've had very little side effects, hot flushes but not too bad. I think I'm extremely lucky as I've heard some horror stories. Good luck and take each day as it comes x
doubletrouble
Member

Re: Tamoxifen and Zoladex combi therapy anyone???

I'm 44 and was diagnosed with invasive BC (small grade 1) in my right breast in June 2013.  Following an MRI scan (which I requested) and several biopsies later, I was also diagnosed with a 35mm (grade 2) invasive breast cancer in the other breast in August 2013.  Consequently, I underwent bi-lateral mastectomies in September 2013 and my BC Surgeon advised me that I did not need radiotherapy (re histology reports) but that I was borderline for Chemo as the second tumour was larger than 30mm.  I spoke at length with the Oncologist (spanning several appointments) and I eventually decided to participate in a clinical trial my hospital was running and was lucky enough to be selected for the Oncotype DX test where my grade 2 tumour was tested in America.  The results came back as "no additional benefit" re chemo so my Oncologist started me on Tamoxifen.  Both BC's were ER+ and HER-.

 

I am also having monthly Zoladex implant injections to suppress my ovaries and will be on these for 3 years.  As I had a hysterectomy 7 years ago I no longer have periods but I still have my ovaries (and a blood test confirmed that these are still very much in working order) hence the Zoladex.  I have only had the first injection so far but I felt extremely fatigued for just over a week afterwards and I'm certainly not looking forward to my next one which is on New Year's Eve (or the next 34 that will follow for that matter)!

 

Is it normal to feel as tired as this and will this occur after every injection?  I was told by my Oncologist that I could not have the 3 monthly injections as these are not licenced to treat BC and that they are used to treat Prostate cancer.

 

I am due to have reconstructive surgery in January (following a failed attempt at the original surgery for bi-lateral mastectomies) and once I'm recovered from that procedure I will be going back to work full time but don't know how I am going to cope with the side effects of this double treatment as I wake often in the night, get very hot during the day and extremely tired where I simply just need to sleep for a couple of hours!  I feel sure the side effects are related to the Zoladex as I started on Tamoxifen a few weeks earlier and didn't seem to have any issues then.

 

Any suggestions?

Dana1
Member

Re: Tamoxifen and Zoladex combi therapy anyone???

Thanks all for taking time to post and share experience. Xx
JCJ
Member

Re: Tamoxifen and Zoladex combi therapy anyone???

I was 51 at dx, Feb 2012. 28mm, Grade 3, ER +ve, HER-ve. Chemo was offered, but it wad MY decision to make, as I was borderline as to whether it would be effective. For many reasons, I said "No" to chemo, and my onc immediately advised I had Zoladex for 2 years to induce menopause and reduce oestrogen. I am also on Tamoxifen for 5 years, although, if the Z does it's stuff, I will transfer to another type of drug, an AI.

I have my Z injections every 3 months - MUCH less hassle that way! - and I can honestly say they have been the easiest part of the whole treatment. I started them the day after my last rads, at the same time as Tamoxifen, and am due to have my last implant in Feb.

Side effects from the combo include crumbling finger nails - cured by taking calcium supplements, thinning hair (but it's thickened up again now; my hairdresser said it was caused by rads and is common!) dry skin - EVERYWHERE!!) hot flushes, disturbed sleep and tiredness. But most, if not all of those would be SEs of menopause anyway - that's why so many women take HRT (not an option for us ER+ve ladies)!!!

For me, the stopping of my periods, immediately after 1st injection, was a major benefit, as they were getting heavy and unpleasant. I hope they stay stopped when Z finnishes.

Good Luck with your treatment. Feel free to PM me if you want more info.
Joolz2000
Member

Re: Tamoxifen and Zoladex combi therapy anyone???

Hi, I started tamoxifen in May, started Zoladex In July and had 20 rads finishing at the end of September. The hot flushes were bad during the summer especially at night, which added to the tiredness. Since the weather has got colder the hot flushes are less of a problem. My oncologist says that people often stop the combi treatment because of the side effects but I'm hoping to persevere. I'm on tamoxifen for 5 years and Zoladex for 2. I'm 48 years old.
Lemonlush
Member

Re: Tamoxifen and Zoladex combi therapy anyone???

Hi everyone,

 

I've been reading the boards since June when i was diagnosed with Stage 2 BC, i've not posted before but thought i should now to share my experience which might be of some value to someone else as i've found it to be for me reading the boards.

 

So in early July had a mx and there were two tumours total size 6cm, I was told i'd probably have to have chemo and rads but after the op was told that i would not have either. My tumors had a really low proliferation rate, SNB was negative, no vascular invasion and clear margins, I was very lucky. 

 

I've been prescribed Zoladex for 2 years and tamoxifen for 5-10 years as I am 42.

 

I started the tamoxifen first and took that for two months on its own, if it had side effects I wanted to be sure which was what. I didn't ask my Onc if the delay in starting zoladex was okay, but when i went back for my 3 month check up they didn't say it would have been a problem. I have to say that the tamoxifen on its own was okay, there were side effects, hot flushes, some anxiety ( weirdly as not had this really before, mild panic attacks ) and some dizzy spells but they were all quite mild and not so frequent.

 

So I decided to start the zoladex and have had two injections which left bad bruising. The first month wasn't too bad for side effects but this second month has been tougher as the hot flushes increased dramatically to around 8 - 10 per 24 hours and my period has now stopped. I really hope the flushes calm down, I was abroad recently and being in a hot climate only made them worse, I'm finally rejoicing in the UK cold weather.

 

But its a small price to pay given the fact that i've not had to have chemo or rads. I switched taking tamoxifen in the night and morning and it doesn't make much difference but i can say that regular excercise makes me feel so much better, i stopped excercising for a week or so and felt rubbish quite quickly ( I'm not a health nut either ) and also if i drink any alcohol it also makes me feel rubbish too so now only have the odd drink. I also have taken tamoxifen on an empty stomach and its been okay.

 

 

Lucy_BCC
Member

Re: Tamoxifen and Zoladex combi therapy anyone???

Hi The

Whilst you await replies, here's the BCC link to zoladex information which you may find helpful, please also feel free to call our helpliners to talk any queries through on.0808 800 6000, lines open 9-5 weekdays and 10-2 Sat

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/breast-cancer-information/treating-breast-cancer/hormone-therapy/...

Best wishes
Lucy BCC

The
Member

Re: Tamoxifen and Zoladex combi therapy anyone???

I've been told I'm Idc grade 2 no nodes involved er/pr strongly + had 4th FEC out of 6 then rads and 5/10 years tamoxifen. I have had 1 period so far whilst on chemo they haven't mentioned zoladex to me. What is it and what are the se . Should I be asking for this? Would really value some of your views thanks xxx
Dana1
Member

Re: Tamoxifen and Zoladex combi therapy anyone???

Hi my plan is to start tamoxifen and zoladex after rads. The reason being that my IDC was 8/8 er pos and although tamoxifen blocks oestrogen it can increase the level produced so zoladex will turn off ovaries to reduce levels. Feel a bit uneasy about s effects and the fact I have very bad hot flushes before treatment starts. But I will do what I can to reduce risk. I'm 49. Xx
3network3
Member

Tamoxifen and Zoladex combi therapy anyone???

A clinical specialist nurse who works in a cancer centre in Amsterdam treating bc patients, told me in holland they would give me Tam + Zoladex as a matter of course.  I'm 44 and on Tam since April last year but have started my period again two months ago.  I'm going to see the BC surgeon about this next week and like to ask him re Tam in combination with Zoladex.  Anybody else on this combo??  Or is it totally unusual in the UK??

 

Thxx