Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen and Hair Loss – "One Woman’s Solution!"


On what should have been a beautiful late spring day two years ago, soon turned into tragedy for two women (Helen and Denise) in their early 40’s when they both were diagnosed with invasive-

hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.They were very much alike, these two women. Both were happily married. Both had three children and both held down full time jobs. They were two bright and ambitious women who without realizing it, entered into a bond on that numbing, spring afternoon.

Both underwent several lymph node removals and a lumpectomy. Both endured the effects of 6 weeks of radiation therapy. Neither had to endure the grueling effects of chemotherapy. Both were determined to beat this monster that had invaded their bodies. Both bonded as close friends and when the feelings of hopelessness began to creep into their thoughts they had each other as confidants to lift up their spirits. They stood together, without ever having to alarm their families of their inner fears that their cancer would return.

With the conclusion of their treatments they both resumed their everyday routines and tried to reclaim a sense of normalcy back into their lives. They both were prescribed Tamoxifen for the next five years. Tamoxifen is very effective in preventing recurrence in invasive hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Unknown to Denise, she was not yet finished with the challenges that this demon called cancer forced her to face.

Although, Tamoxifen does have some side effects it is relatively safe and thousands upon thousands of women take it daily without experiencing any side effects at all. Helen scarcely noticed any changes while taking the drug. She returned to work part-time at first, but quickly resumed her role as wife, mother and full time employee. One would scarcely believe that she had ever undergone cancer treatments and she glowed once again with signs of good health.

Denise on the other hand didn’t fair quite as well. She noticed immediately that her hair was starting to fall out. Sometimes averaging 200 strands a day. After two weeks of being on Tamoxifen and experiencing this rapid hair loss she was seriously considering discontinuing its use. The radiation therapy that was used to spare her life had left her tired and listless. Tamoxifen that was used to prevent the cancer from returning, was thinning her hair and most of all destroying her self esteem.

She researched the prescription medication Rogaine, but found the chemical name (minoxidil) had side effects as well. Rogaine was also very expensive and time consuming. She had contemplated ovary removal. Her reasoning being, she was positive that her family was complete. She quickly dismissed that thought not wanting to undergo anymore surgeries.

She then looked into Aromasin an FDA approved aromatase inhibitor. Aromasin was given to women with early stage disease, but who had already undergone 2 to 3 years of Tamoxifen. The next inhibitor that she looked into was Femara. Although, FDA approved for early stage breast cancer she needed to have completed 5 years of Tamoxifen. The third inhibitor was called Ariminex. This is given to patients with early stage disease and directly after surgery. After discussing this with her Doctor, she immediately switched from Tamoxifen to Ariminex.

Hair loss was the primary reason Denise switched from Tamoxifen to Ariminex. She had no other side effects with this drug, but as vanity would have it she just didn’t want to become bald. After taking Ariminex for just under four months she realized that she had traded one cosmetic side effect for another that was physical. Denise was still experiencing slight hair loss, but was now suffering from excruciating joint pain.

Her Doctor explained that by taking Tamoxifen, her continuing hair loss just might have been caused by the drug giving her a nudge into menopause. Women who enter menopause, because of the lower estrogen sometime experience hair loss. He also explained that everyone’s tolerance was different for these drugs and he could prescribe Femara for her instead of Ariminex. By this time Denise was taking extended release Tramadol for joint pain and felt exhausted and defeated. She was still not capable of returning to work, even though it had been almost a year since she had been first diagnosed with breast cancer.

Financially Denise and her family were barely making ends meet. Without her much needed paycheck, the household bills were accumulating. Her once vibrant marriage was suffering and the talk of their separation was only silenced by the tears in their children’s eyes. In one year everything she and her family had worked for appeared ready to come crashing down!

Denise was still contemplating whether she should begin taking Femara or stop taking all drugs altogether.

That morning she received a phone call that would change her life. It was Helen. Her confidant through the worst of times had called to find out how she was doing. It wasn’t long before Denise’s emotions came spilling out. Through tears and laughter Helen and Denise were once again reunited, and Denise was no longer fighting this battle, seemingly alone.

Helen who did and continues to work in the organic and natural food business, was saddened that Denise had not confided in her earlier on her struggles. She was delighted with the thought that she may be able to help her ailing friend.

Upon hearing Denise’s story it was clear to Helen that the only side effect that Helen’s brief taking of Tamoxifen had was hair loss. Because of those two simple four letter words (hair loss) the past year for Denise and her family had turned into a roller coaster of spiraling downward turns.

After a very long in depth discussions with Helen, Denise decided to take her advice and begin taking Shen Min. Shen Min is an herbal product that has literally changed Denise’s life. She discontinued Ariminex, and immediately felt a difference with her joints.She was then able to discontinue the use of Tramadol for joint pain, because she no longer suffered pain. She chose not to begin taking Femara, but instead decided to resume taking Tamoxifen, since other then hair loss there were no other side effects.

As Helen explained it to Denise, the Shen Min Advanced Formula for Women was actually extending her hairs growth phase, therefore reducing the amount of hairs that were in the resting and fallout phase. This herbal supplement had no side effect and the results were noticed within a month. It seemed like such a simple solution, yet Denise had suffered miserably for almost a year, by taking medications that lead to side effects without realizing that there are natural products that can be taken with conventional medication.

Helen’s introducing Denise to Shen Min literally changed her life. She is doing very well on Tamoxifen with no side effects. Her hair loss is at an acceptable normal rate and she is now back to work full time. She is no longer on any pain medications and her marriage is becoming stronger and back on the right track.

Although, this cancer/hair loss story does get somewhat complicated, it is insightful. If Denise had known about Shen Min when she first started on Tamoxifen she would have spared herself months of suffering with severe joint pain because of the Ariminex. Although aromatase inhibitor Ariminex is side effect free for the majority of its prescribed patients, Denise’s body for what ever reasons was unable to tolerate this medication.

The bottom line is that there is help for anyone who has unwanted hair loss. Shen Min has natural products consisting of capsules, topical formula’s and even herbal shampoo’s that can help hair loss in both men and women. If you or someone you know is suffering from hair loss, even if it is through genetics Shen Min just might be your answer to thinning hair.