August 12, 2011, I got a cell phone call while driving from the mall. Dr. Sims on the other end, said, “Lucinda you have breast cancer.” Words I never wanted to hear.
For a few moments I felt disoriented and like I had pushed the pause button on my life.
Once I collected my thoughts I told myself, “I will search for everything I can on the breast cancer I have.”
While going for different tests I would come home and do research.
Dr. Kovacs, my Oncologist, informed me what the plan would be after the chemo and radiation treatments. I’d be on a cancer drug for five years.
After leaving his office I was ok with everything he said except when he mentioned the chemo drug Tamoxifen. I could not get that word out of my mind so I began my search to find out what ingredients were in it. I found the statement below but it still did not include the ingredients.
Doctors say, “we now know that Tamoxifen has some negative side effects, increasing hot flashes, mood swings, and most significantly, increasing blood clots and uterine cancer. The last two are pretty rare, but significant.
When Tamoxifen is used in women with more advanced breast cancer, positive nodes or metastases, the benefits exceed these risks. However, for women with earlier stages, like DCIS or very small tumors, one does need to balance the benefits with the risks.
A woman should be able to have an objective discussion with her provider about the true benefits of Tamoxifen — is it 3% or 10% improvement — and then make an informed decision.”
Some women want to do everything even if the benefit is small; others do not see it that way.
For some women Tamoxifen is a safety net; for others, it is a poison they cannot swallow.
The other thing I remembered Dr. Kovacs saying was, “Some women can not take Tamoxifen because of the side effects but don’t worry, other medicines are available.”
The ingredients found in Tamoxifen are:
- anhydrous lactose
- colloidal silicaon dioxide
- magnesium stearate
- microcrystalline cellulose
- sodium lauryl sulfate
that didn’t tell me much so I dug deeper. To make a long story short, I refused to take tamoxifen.
Ladies do your own research on the ingredients in Tamoxifen.