Earlier this month, I returned to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the hospital where I was treated, to participate in a new clinical trial for Hodgkin Lymphoma survivors. As a Hodgkin survivor I have a 55-percent higher risk, compared to the average woman, of being diagnosed with breast cancer because of the cancer treatment. As part of the trial, I will receive either a low-dose tamoxifen or a placebo, testing the possibility of tamoxifen being used to reduce the risk of breast cancer for other survivors.
I’m really excited to be part of this groundbreaking project that St. Jude is participating in with City of Hope. During the three decades I’ve been alive, pediatric oncology has essentially cured some the most common type of pediatric cancer and they’ve developed a field of survivorship. For my diagnosis, they’ve recognized that mantle radiation in Hodgkin survivors can cause breast cancer and heart issues AND they’ve also developed clinical trials to address these issues AND they’ve identified that the protocol may not require radiation at all. I’m amazed by the collaborative efforts, shared data, and use of clinical trials that went into this – and I hope that as the number of survivors continues to rise, we will have more of these types of changes in the future.
Usually on my blogs I tell you about my experiences or what we’ve been up to in research, but today, I also have a question for all of you! My fellow survivors, what helpful hints do you have for me about how to have the best possibly experience with tamoxifen? Any recommendations for reducing hot flashes or other symptoms?
P.S. – Learn more about survivorship in pediatric cancer by listening to experts and survivors (including me) who participated in the 14th Annual Survivors’ Day Conference at St Jude’s.
P.P.S – Learn more about potential late effects you or a loved one might experience after treatment ends by completing a LIVESTRONG Care Plan.