It’s hopefully keeping Roxy Jacenko cancer-free, but as the Sydney PR guru has shared, there are downsides to taking anti-cancer drugs.
Jacenko, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2016 and, after undergoing surgery and radiation treatment, was in remission a few months later.
Listen: Roxy Jacenko told Mia Freedman all about her year from hell. (Post continues after audio.)
However, to keep the cancer from returning, the mum-of-two was prescribed cancer-preventing medication called tamoxifen and told to take it every day for ten years.
The drug works by blocking oestrogen receptors in breast cells. This means that if cancerous cells return, the tamoxifen would help slow or stop the growth and reproduction of those cancer cells, by blocking the oestrogen they need.
On Sunday, the 37-year-old shared with followers one of the frustrating side-effects of the medication.
“The joys (not) of living on tamoxifen – when everyone thinks they are hot you are literally 25 degrees hotter and cannot regulate your temp,” she wrote.
Although not causing patients’ bodies to surge 25 degrees hotter, a common side effect of tamoxifen is hot flushes, which is when a decrease in oestrogen causes the body’s temperature control system to get confused.
According to Breast Cancer Network Australia, this results in a sudden, intense, hot feeling on your face and upper body. And although there has not been a great deal of research into why, many tamoxifen users also report “running hot” or cold outside of their hot flushes.
Other possible side-effects of the medication include mood swings, irregular periods, blood clots and weight gain.
But as unpleasant as its side-effects sound, Jacenko knows as well as anyone the consequences for not taking tamoxifen could be far worse.