The breast cancer you had was oestrogen receptor positive, that means it was being fuelled or 'fed' by the hormone oestrogen.

The tablet you have been prescribed will either block the oestrogen receptors on breast cancer cells (Tamoxifen) or decrease the amount of oestrogen the body makes (Anastrozole, Letrozole, Exemestane).

Take your tablet at the same time every day - you can choose when.

If you forget to take it, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is two to three hours before your next dose; do not take a double dose. 

Endocrine therapy is used to try to stop the growth of breast cancer and can help prevent it coming back - it is therefore important that you keep taking it.  

Taking these tablets can cause side-effects; these normally improve within a few months.

Managing these side-effects, by using these tips, will hopefully make you feel in control of these.

General endocrine assistance


These are the Endocrine drugs we use for treating breast cancer; these pages will give you a general overview of the drug, how it works and the possible side-effects.





Drug side-effects

The side-effects can be varied, below are a list of a few of these, the links are suggestions of where you can get help and support for these.

You can, of course, speak to your Breast CNS Team.

Joint aches and pains

Vaginal bleeding

Please contact the Breast CNS team if you have unexpected vaginal bleeding.

Blood clots

If you experience any of these, please contact NHS 111, your GP or the specialist team immediately:

  • Pain, redness/discolouration, heat and swelling of the calf, leg or thigh
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Unexplained cough (you may cough up blood)


A lack of oestrogen can cause osteoporosis; you will be monitored for this whilst on certain Endocrine treatments.

Menopause symptoms

Vaginal dryness

This is a common side-effect of your Hormone treatment, one that is rarely talked about!


Reduced libido is another common side-effect of your treatment… don’t suffer in silence!

Sleeping difficulties


Hot flushes and night sweats

Stress, anxiety and mood changes

Healthy eating

To help with possible weight gain, feeling of well-being, fatigue and many of the side-effects.


Exercise can help with general well-being, low mood and depression, joint aches and pains

Support groups

Support Groups, either face-to-face, online or by telephone can make a big difference to tolerating your treatment.

Complementary therapies

The use of complementary therapies, alongside your treatment can greatly help you cope with the side-effects

Talking therapies

Free counselling

Apps for your phone

  • Becca: Breast cancer support
  • Meditation app
  • Balance: Menopause support
  • Balance: Meditation and sleep
  • Evia: Hot flushes and menopause
  • Calm: Sleep and meditation
  • Nuna: Mental health companion
  • My Fitness Pal


Breast CNS Team
Tel: 01793 604340