I have been taking tamoxifen for 2 years. I have gained weight as well as have joint and back pain. Are these side effects of tamoxifen? What can I do?

Expert Answers

EricRNOCN (Nurse (Verified) ) - 03 / 07 / 2012

It is not at all uncommon for women to gain weight during Breast Cancer Treatment. For the weight gain you may want to consult with a nutritionist that is familiar with breast cancer treatments. About the joint and back pain: this is a common complaint among our breast cancer survivors during the maintenance phase. If you had a Deep flap or tram flap procedure and that is contributing to your back pain than a physical therapist would be helpful. If not, I would suggest regular intervals of physical activity. Gentle Yoga may be helpful to you. And hydration is important as well. Make sure you drink enough water. The idea on both of these is keeping your joints nice and loose and flexible.
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Elynjacobs (Survivor (2 - 5 years)) - 03 / 07 / 2012

Sadly, yes, these can be side effects of TAM. Your metabolism slows a bit as a result of the reduction of estrogen. Exercise and a careful diet can be very helpful. I struggled with both of those issues, and it took some time to correct. I also recommend stress reduction as for many people, tension can present itself as pain in the hip, leg, back, etc. I tried many different conventional theories to get rid of my pain, none worked (could not sit for almost two year, walking painful), but mind-body therpies took care of it.
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