Tamoxifen : There is More to the Story

In Uncategorized on December 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Tamoxifen is such a hot topic…and quite controversial.  At the recent San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, a summary of the ATLAS  (Adjuvant Tamoxifen: Longer Against Shorter) trial was presented.   The study suggests that women who took Tamoxifen for ten years had improved survival over women who took it for five years. Can we be sure the study is accurate and telling the whole story?  I try to keep an open mind; I am having a hard time swallowing this one. I know that, despite what some say, Tamoxifen is not well tolerated, and causes debilitating side effects.  I know that Tamoxifen has been classified by the WHO as a “human carcinogen”.

I get carcinogens, I get that we have to weigh the pros and cons of everything we take.  But if five years is good and ten years is better, does the risk increase more than the reward?  What about the risk for the other issues that Tamoxifen causes…the bone pain, joint pain, coughing, blurred vision, etc; is a small increase worth the suffering it may cause for so many? For some reason we are often told that “it’s a small price to pay”, but the answer should not be part of the problem, especially if the cost is too high.   Here’s another take on the subject:  Tamoxifen: Praised As “Life Saving” But Still Causing Cancer.

There is more to the story….or two sides to the story, if you will.

The study indicates that there was a slight benefit to staying on the Tamoxifen for ten years, but it also provides that the risk for serious side effects increased as well (for example, endometrial cancer was 3.1% in the ten year group, compared with 1.6% in the group that stopped at five), and no mention was made of debilitating side effects that severely reduce quality of life.  The study was also a bit flawed, as there was not a placebo for the group that stopped the Tam after five years, but also in that it did not provide a group of women who either substituted Tam with natural means or took the Tam for five years and then switched to natural means.  Only then would we see if the Tamoxifen worked better and was worthy of the risks, or if we might be able to manage just as well without the drug.

Remember, this is just one study, and you are not a statistic.  So please, talk to your doctor, do your research; if Tamoxifen seems right for you, go for it for the amount of time that you believe is best.   If it doesn’t, perhaps consider managing estrogen naturally.  Remember, there is no one right answer; know your options.  For more information on Tamoxifen alternatives, please see the links below.

http://www.all-natural.com/tamox.html (note: this one is interesting, but dated)





~~If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any~~

Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn is on the peer review board of the Natural Standard Database. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys.



Facebook @Elyn Jacobs Consulting

LinkedIn @Elyn Jacobs

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