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Jan 11, 2017 03:16AM
Pre-menopausal reluctant tamoxifen newbie here...
When I was first diagnosed, I was quite adamant I would never take Tamox. It was going to be "surgery and done". I really dislike messing with my endocrine system (have taken thyroid for decades and have had many troubles along the way), and am especially concerned about my sex hormones!
However, I've decided that I should at least give it a trial run. My oncotype DX score is 13 i.e. 10-year 8% distant metastases risk WITH 5 years of tamox. I'm guesstimating my risk of recurrence without tamox would be somewhere in 10-20% range based on it roughly halving risk.
After reading about people's experiences on these boards, it sounds like you really can't predict how things will go for you with the side effects, and some people certainly have been reassuring. I'm trying to view it as a fun experiment! My menstrual cycles are super regular but pretty horrible in terms of PMS and bleeding, so mildly hopeful that tamox might reduce the bleeding and/or frequency of periods at least. Also concerned about mood effects, cognitive effects, and messing with my sex life. I think maybe I can live with hot flashes. Dr. says give it three months or so to see how cycles change. I will post again with my experiences.
Jcn16--tamox itself will not put you into menopause--it selectively blocks estrogen receptors in breasts and other tissues while acting like an estrogen in others, but does not induce or speed up menopause since the ovaries keep working. Of course, the estrogen blocking often causes the symptoms of menopause including those hot flashes. I can't post the link, but you can google this study: "Association of tamoxifen use and ovarian function in patients with invasive or pre-invasive breast cancer"--it does say that periods are more likely to stop in older pre-menopausal women.
Age 41 at dx; Hodgkin's Disease w/mantle radiation 24 years prior; oncotype 13
10/21/2016, DCIS/IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
12/15/2016 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
1/18/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)