I am 64, 5 year post breast cancer treatment and on a Femara hormone blocking drug. I will end Femara treatment in Jan. 2013. I am taking 1800mg calcium citrate, 5000 IU of D3. I live on a farm and work physically hard each day 365 a year! I have never smoked or drank. I have developed some pretty severe osteoporosis. I don't know what my bone density scores are unfortunately. I have tried taking oral Boniva and Fosomax but the joint pain I developed was so severe it was debilitating. My oncologist and internist have suggested the infusion type as in Reclast, Forteo, and whatever the others are. I am very worried I will suffer from this extreme pain again from these classification of drugs. I have asked both doctor's and they seem to blow me off. I can't live with that kind of pain if it develops from the infusion drugs. Would it be temporary or year long? I can't seem to find any answers. Where would I go to find answers. My onc. just said a "bone fracture would be worse." I don't know if that would be truly the case. Thank you. Sharon
Last edited by uptownJ; 04-08-2012 at 12:09 PM.
Reason: Need to add facts
Given your history with the oral bisphosphonates, I would be very reluctant to try the infusion versions. Your instincts are probably right. (If you haven't got DEXA scores, how do you know that your osteoporosis is that severe?) There are other alternatives out there. By the way, Forteo is not in that class of drugs. I had great success with Forteo and no side effects whatsoever. The negatives are that this drug requires daily self-injection, (not really a big deal) and there is generally a 2 year limit beyond which they will not prescribe it. This means you then have to deal with the same issues 2 years down the pike. Many of us use oral Strontium citrate with pretty good results.
Very few physicians are even aware of Strontium, although Strontium ranelate is the drug of choice in Europe. If you have not yet fractured anything, your osteoporosis may not be as severe as they suggest. Concentrate first and foremost on recovering from your b.c. Keep us posted. Best of luck! carol
The Following User Says Thank You to turtlelady For This Useful Post: uptownJ (04-09-2012)
Carol... thank you for your advice. My internist has recommended Forteo, the oncologist recommended the once-a-year infusion. I have been reading about the strontium citrate and will bring it up to my internist who I have to see Thursday. As for the dexa scores... I don't have a copy of them but seem to remember one score being 3.-- something for lumbar. Anyway, the oncologist is much more worried about the osteoporosis than the chances of recurrance of breast cancer. I WILL be getting the dexa scores from my last two scans. The oncologist told me not to ride my dear horses because I will shatter like glass if I fall off.
Your email has helped confirm what that voice in my head has been saying. I have no problem using the Forteo even with the daily injections but the Reclast, etc. I just have had a bad feeling about those types. Thanks again, Carol for your advice. Take care, Sharon
Dear Sharon: I remember you as the first and only person who ever posted an immediate response to my initial post in March or so of this year. Pls. note I posted a 6 month follow up to my double mastectomy just a few hours ago.
Just an "aside" to answer your concerns about osteoporosis. Has any MD ever ordered a Vitamin D level on you? It seems to be much talked about in the journals as a widespread deficiency that goes unknown because it is not routinely checked. Long story short, I was just checked and found to have a level of 24, with normal values being 30-90. (There is more than one type of test, so I cannot comment further than my numbers). Without sufficient vitamin D in your body, taking calcium is worthless as you need the D as an adjunct. I am wondering if this would extrapolate to infusion drugs, as I know it would relate to oral meds like Fosamax and Boniva. You may consider ensuring you have enough Vit D before you go any further. Deficiency is so common because of use of sunscreens, and it is a hard vitamin to ever be enough in one's diet. Yes, milk and Yoghurt, etc. are D fortified, but it is a drop in the bucket compared to what our bodies need. Supplementation with oral D I believe is the way to raise the #, but a true deficiency would require way more than what D is found in vitamins. 400, even 1,000 mg. a day is just not enough if your body is deficient.
Anyway, when I read your thread I felt I should throw this "aside" to consider on your quest to find something to address your osteoporosis.
I'm thru the bulk of my BC treatment, and doing OK. I hope you are otherwise well also. The best to you.