Managing Side Effects of Estrogen TreatmentFollowing initial treatment for breast cancer, you may be prescribed one of two estrogen treatments—EVISTA (Raloxifene®) or tamoxifen (Nolvadex®). Both are selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), and act similarly. Typically, these are prescribed in five-year cycles for preventing breast cancer recurrence. Because these estrogen treatments produce certain side effects, some women find the quality of their lives greatly compromised. Consequently, many breast cancer patients choose to stop treatment.
By stopping these estrogen medications, women may regain their quality of life, but they live with the fear they are not protected from a breast cancer recurrence. By itself, this negative emotional vibration can cause a lot of distress. This kind of physical and emotional stress can trigger another bout of breast cancer.
Following is a list of side effects published by the makers of EVISTA:
- Hot flashes
- Joint pain
- Flu-like symptoms (such as fever, chills, and body aches)
- Swelling or water retention in the lower legs, ankles, or feet
- Muscle spasms or leg cramps
- Signs of blood clots in the leg, such as calf pain, leg cramps, leg or foot swelling
- Signs of a blood clot in the lung, such as shortness of breath, sharp chest pain, or coughing up blood
- Signs of a stroke, such as vision or speech changes, weakness or numbness in an arm or leg, and a severe headache
- Sudden loss of vision or vision changes, can be a sign of a blood clot in the eye
- High triglycerides
- Gallstones or other gallbladder problems
- Unusual uterine bleeding
- Signs of an allergic reaction, including unexplained rash, hives, itching, and unexplained swelling.
Alleviating the Side Effects of Estrogen TreatmentFrom the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) perspective, specific side effects mean that the organs associated with them are already expressing a function disorder. For example, hot flashes are caused by a Kidney and Liver function disorder. Swelling or edema means that the Bladder and Stomach systems are not functioning individually and not communicating properly. These organs are expressing an energy deficiency.
You may be able to effectively address many of these side effects with natural therapies derived from the ancient wisdom of TCM. By strengthening your immune system and gaining needed energy and nutrition, you may be able to complete estrogren treatment.
Here are several natural adjuncts you can include in your healing plan: Qigong is the number one choice for self-healing; however, this practice requires strength, dedication, and patience to achieve real rewards. Once you activate your healing ability, you will experience remarkable results. The number two choice is finding a skilled acupuncturist to help rebalance the body and relieve side effects. The third one is to take certain Chinese herbal formulas to help build inner strength, relieve side effects, create harmony among your organs and allow you to complete estrogen treatment. Combining these three powerful healing techniques, you can have excellent results.