Men with breast cancer: Your experience wth hormonal therapy?

Posted by dick61 @dick61, Aug 28 12:29pm

I had a mastectomy and 3 positive lymph nodes and 16 proton radiation treatments at MN Mayo. I am taking 20 mg of tamoxifen. What side effects are MALES experiencing from this drug??

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Breast Cancer group.

I had a lumpectomy with no impacted sentinel lymph nodes followed by radiation almost six years ago then on Tamoxifen for five years (taken off it earlier this year). The biggest issue I had was joint and muscle aches particularly in the morning after a nights sleep. It was manageable but a bit nagging. Also experienced some decline in sex drive.
Best wishes on your journey.

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@dick61, I'm glad you asked this question. Hormonal therapy for men with breast cancer is not the same experience as for women. Besides the helpful reply you got from @rpfricker, I'd also like to tag @robbiemilammusicman @wolfbauer and @agingrobert into this discussion about tamoxifen.

Dick, what side effects are you experiencing?

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@colleenyoung

@dick61, I'm glad you asked this question. Hormonal therapy for men with breast cancer is not the same experience as for women. Besides the helpful reply you got from @rpfricker, I'd also like to tag @robbiemilammusicman @wolfbauer and @agingrobert into this discussion about tamoxifen.

Dick, what side effects are you experiencing?

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VERY frequent, stress-type (not migraine) headaches and early evening fatigue. I can take Esgic Plus to treat the headaches, and it is very effective. However, phenobarbital negatively affects the metabolism of tamoxifen. So, I only use it for the ones that are debilitating. The headaches cause somewhat fuzzy thinking, and the mild ones are annoying!

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Leuprolide and Letrozole hormone therapy for men's breast cancer
I am a 76 year old male with early breast cancer. After surgery, I'm supposed to start the above mentioned therapy. I would like to know other patient's experience.

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@cstark46

Leuprolide and Letrozole hormone therapy for men's breast cancer
I am a 76 year old male with early breast cancer. After surgery, I'm supposed to start the above mentioned therapy. I would like to know other patient's experience.

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Welcome, @cstark46. I moved your message to this discussion about hormonal treatments for breast cancer in men, specifically.
– Men with breast cancer: Your experience wth hormonal therapy? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/male-breast-cancer/

I did this so you can see the previous posts and connect with other men, like @dick61 and @rpfricker, who are taking hormonal therapy for breast cancer. They are taking tamoxifen. Leuprolide is also commonly used in men with prostate cancer.

Cstark, when will you start hormonal therapy? Do you know for how long?

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@colleenyoung

Welcome, @cstark46. I moved your message to this discussion about hormonal treatments for breast cancer in men, specifically.
– Men with breast cancer: Your experience wth hormonal therapy? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/male-breast-cancer/

I did this so you can see the previous posts and connect with other men, like @dick61 and @rpfricker, who are taking hormonal therapy for breast cancer. They are taking tamoxifen. Leuprolide is also commonly used in men with prostate cancer.

Cstark, when will you start hormonal therapy? Do you know for how long?

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Thank you Colleen, I cannot take tamoxifen so my interest is only with the Leuprolide and Letrozole. Is it worth taking these meds given the efficacy and risk reward? Can Letrozole be taken alone?

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@cstark46

Thank you Colleen, I cannot take tamoxifen so my interest is only with the Leuprolide and Letrozole. Is it worth taking these meds given the efficacy and risk reward? Can Letrozole be taken alone?

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Weighing the risk vs benefit profile is a very personal decision that is best informed with your oncologist. Your oncologist can give you best estimates of recurrence and you add your considerations of which side effects you are willing to live with. While the possible side effects may be many, you may not experience all or any. Such a tough decision.

I believe Letrozole can be taken alone, but again your treatment recommendations are based on you. Have you asked your oncologist about the pros and cons of taking both or Letrozole alone?

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@colleenyoung

Weighing the risk vs benefit profile is a very personal decision that is best informed with your oncologist. Your oncologist can give you best estimates of recurrence and you add your considerations of which side effects you are willing to live with. While the possible side effects may be many, you may not experience all or any. Such a tough decision.

I believe Letrozole can be taken alone, but again your treatment recommendations are based on you. Have you asked your oncologist about the pros and cons of taking both or Letrozole alone?

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Thank you Colleen, I appreciate your response. I am a Mayo patient currently discussing this with my oncologist, she had a similar answer. I would just like to get an impression from someone that has experienced the same thing that I may. I also have NHL and lung cancer, so this a very difficult choice. Thanks again,
Cliff Stark

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@cstark46

Thank you Colleen, I appreciate your response. I am a Mayo patient currently discussing this with my oncologist, she had a similar answer. I would just like to get an impression from someone that has experienced the same thing that I may. I also have NHL and lung cancer, so this a very difficult choice. Thanks again,
Cliff Stark

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Oh my, you've had enough cancer experience for one person. Gosh. I will continue to search for other men with breast cancer who have experience with Leuprolide and Letrozole to share with you.

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@colleenyoung

Welcome, @cstark46. I moved your message to this discussion about hormonal treatments for breast cancer in men, specifically.
– Men with breast cancer: Your experience wth hormonal therapy? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/male-breast-cancer/

I did this so you can see the previous posts and connect with other men, like @dick61 and @rpfricker, who are taking hormonal therapy for breast cancer. They are taking tamoxifen. Leuprolide is also commonly used in men with prostate cancer.

Cstark, when will you start hormonal therapy? Do you know for how long?

Jump to this post

I have ER+ breast cancer and am 15 months post mastectomy, 6 node removal (3 positive) and 16 proton radiation treatments. Surgery in 4/21. I am taking 20 mg of tamoxifen and have daily headaches that I try to ignore. I had a cording issue that PT resolved and now a pectoral muscle/shoulder issue that, again, PT is helping. Otherwise, I am back to normal. I am about to be 83. My Mayo oncologist never mentioned another drug, but I did have a genetic test to confirm that I was properly metabolizing tamoxifen. Good luck to you. Hope surgery and follow up treatment goes well.

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