Olympic figure skating star Dorothy Hamill was diagnosed with breast cancer nearly three years ago. However, despite being cancer free for two years, the 54-year-old told People magazine that she still suffers some side effects from the surgery, radiation and chemotherapy treatments she underwent. “I don’t have a lot of energy,” she says. “I get really tired. Even when I’m not skating I get tired.” Hamill is currently taking Tamoxifen, a drug that interferes with the activity of the female hormone estrogen. Studies show that Tamoxifen helps prevent the original breast cancer from returning and also helps prevent the development of new cancers in the other breast. Hamill says that Tamoxifen makes her “achy,” even if she is not skating.
What are some of the long term term side effects of chemotherapy for breast cancer?
Common long-term side effects of chemotherapy include:
What are some of the more common side effects of tamoxifen?
The known, serious side effects of tamoxifen are blood clots, strokes, uterine cancer, and cataracts. Other side effects of tamoxifen are similar to the symptoms of menopause. The most common side effects are hot flashes and vaginal discharge. Some women experience irregular menstrual periods, headaches, fatigue, nausea and/or vomiting, vaginal dryness or itching, irritation of the skin around the vagina, and skin rash. As with menopause, not all women who take tamoxifen have these symptoms.