I have completed 8 chemos and am ready to start six and one-half weeks radiation. I came through chemo pretty well. Except my eyes watered so much I have not been driving in traffic for fear that I might have an accident. They are recently getting better. (It has been 5 weeks since I completed the chemo treatments)
I thought I would wait until radiation was over to begin Tamoxifen, but I now find that I will take the tablets during radiation.
I have been looking up information about side effects of the Tamoxifen, and I see on MedHelp site that there is a warning of taking the tablets if I have eye problems now. It specifically mentions cataracs, and then goes on to say and other eye problems.
I have a fast growing catarac on one eye that I am waiting until chemo and radiation is over, then I will go to get the catarack removed. (It was on the eye before I started chemo)
Now I am very concerned with taking the Tamoxifen for 5 years. I need your input on this matter. I certainly do not want to get worse eye problems taking it, but then, I do not want to increase my chances of recurrance if I do not take it. I am a high risk patient. One of my friends had a retina detachment while on Tamoxifen, and she has been saying that the Tamoxifen caused it, but I doubted it. Now I do not know! Perhaps it did. Please comment. P.S Does Tamoxifen only keep from a recurrance in BREASTS?
Dear Seven7, Tamoxifen may slightly increase the risk for developing cataracts. As women age, they are more likely to develop cataracts whether or not they take tamoxifen. Cataracts may lead to a decrease in vision and eye surgery may be required to remove the cataract and improve vision. Women who have a cataract before beginning to take tamoxifen may be more likely to have cataract surgery. Other eye problems, such as corneal scarring or retinal changes, have been reported in a few patients.
"There has been research showing a substantial reductions in the likelihood of tumor recurrence*, second primary breast cancer (cancer in the opposite breast), and death persisting for at least 15 years of follow-up, in women whose breast tumors contain hormone receptor protein, regardless of age, menopausal status, involvement of axillary lymph nodes or tumor size. Tamoxifen is the most commonly used form of hormonal therapy." from the National Institute of Health Consensus Statement on Adjuvant Therapy for Breast Cancer. December, 2000.
*Recurrence would be referring to anywhere in the body.
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