KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 – The Ministry of Health (MOH) today confirmed that it is safe for breast cancer patients to continue taking tamoxifen while getting vaccinated against Covid-19, including getting vaccinated with booster shots.
Besides saying that it is safe to take the medication used to treat and prevent breast cancer, MOH also urged cancer patients not to delay surgery after taking the coronavirus vaccine.
“It is safe for breast cancer patients who are on tamoxifen to continue taking the treatment while they are getting their Covid-19 vaccines. This is including the booster,” MOH told Ova today.
“Prompt cancer treatment is important to ensure better outcomes for the patient. Hence, the surgery should not be postponed. It is safe for them to take the vaccine and it can be taken after the surgery, or, if they are on chemotherapy, it should be taken during the interval of the treatment.”
MOH advises cancer patients to always consult with the attending physician or doctor on the best time to take the Covid-19 vaccine.
MOH’s statement was in response to an article published by Ova, which highlighted concerns some breast cancer patients had about continuing with their treatments or surgeries due to uncertainties about the vaccine and its effects.
Dr Mastura Md Yusof, a consultant clinical oncologist at Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur, said the fears are unfounded.
“Patients on tamoxifen have not been shown to have increased blood clot risk when taking the booster,” she said. “So, no issues and thus patients can safely take it.”
Dr Mastura said her patients are usually advised to complete their vaccination prior to surgery, or starting treatment such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
“But if they couldn’t, it is safe and effective to be given during radiotherapy or while having chemotherapy,” she added.
“The timing in relation to chemotherapy days can be discussed with the doctor because each regimen differs between patient to patient.”