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Hi I had oestrogen positive breast cancer in my left breast which required mastectomy. I was lucky in that my nodes were free and as the tumours were grade 1 I did not require further treatment. I am now on Tamoxifen and experiencing unpleasant side effects. Is this medication only prescribed to reduce the chance of the cancer developing in my right breast? and if so could I request another mastectomy and would that mean I would not need to be on medication?? Interested to know if this is a viable option.

Keith - Macmillan
Posted by

Hi Ihama,

Thanks for your post. I hope the support and advice from our online community has been helpful. It’s reassuring that your breast cancer has been found early with no lymph node involvement.

Everyone can be affected by cancer and its treatment in different ways. Hormone therapy, like any other drug, can have potential side effects but there are things that can be done to manage these side effects. Many people find changing to a different brand or alternative hormone therapy can help.

There is no definite way of preventing recurrence of any cancer but with hormone dependant breast cancers continuing hormone therapy can help reduce this risk. Some consultants use the predict score to calculate the benefits of using hormone therapy. It would be helpful to discuss this along with your side effects with your breast care team.

Having a mastectomy may reduce the likely hood of breast cancer coming back. But there may still be residual breast tissue left, which could potentially become cancerous at a later stage. Hormone treatment also helps to reduce the likely hood of recurrence in another part of your body.

When you feel worried or unsure about your treatment, we would encourage you to discuss this with your treatment team. They can explore your options, so you can make an informed choice. This would help you decide what is right for you.




Sometimes it can be good to talk through what’s happening. If you think it would help you can call us free on 0808 808 0000. Our line is open 7 days a week, 8am – 8pm. You can also e-mail us back and we aim to reply within two working days.

Best wishes,

Keith McDonald

Cancer Information Nurse Specialist