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Deciding not to take Tamoxifen



  • MyBestFriends
    MyBestFriends Member Posts: 8
    edited June 2020

    I am feeling pressure to take Tamoxifen. I had DCIS, 1mm, ER Positive, Grade 3, Stage 0. Lumpectomy surgery on January 6, 2020. I finished my 20 rounds of radiation therapy March 11. I had genetic testing BRCA1/2 and all came back negative. I am a healthy 70 year old following a lower Estrogen Level diet - Cancer preventative diet. I have always exercised regularly. Today my oncologist let me know I was not following Standard Care by rejecting the Tamoxifen. He said my cancer has a 3% chance of reoccurring and the Tamoxifen with lower that to 1.5%.

    Is there anyone else out there who elected NOT to take Tamoxifen? What happened?

  • Member Posts: 1,435
    edited June 2020

    MyBestFriend, this is a very old thread. It would be better if you started your own new thread, probably in the DCIS forum so that you get relevant responses, because taking Tamoxifen for invasive cancer (which is the situation of most women reading) provides different benefits than taking Tamoxifen for DCIS, which is a localized condition.

    Rather than answer your question, I'll put some questions to you:

    • Did your oncologist review with you the side effects of Tamoxifen?
    • Given your age (the risk of some of the more serious side effects tends to be higher in those who are older), how does your MO feel the risk of side effects balances against the 1.5% recurrence risk reduction that you would get from Tamoxifen?
    • Did your MO only discuss Tamoxifen or did he also offer up the option to take an Aromatase Inhibitor? AIs are usually prescribed to post-menopausal women rather than Tamoxifen but perhaps there is a reason why Tamoyifen would be better for you.
    • And for you, how worried are you about an extra 1.5% recurrence risk, if you were not to take Tamoxifen?


    The following threads in the DCIS forum might provide you with some helpful information:

    Topic: Has anybody decided to do excision only? Or active monitoring?

    Topic: Anyone ER+ PR+ opting out of hormone therapy?

    Topic: DCIS: choosing surgery only, followed by monitoring