Discussions that mention zometa

Osteoporosis board

Hi LaurieFB!

I went through exactly the same quandary a couple of years ago. I was Dx'd with 1st-stage BC in 1999 and had a lumpectomy and radiation. I was 44 at the time and premenopausal, and they put me on tamoxifen. After the 5-year regimen, I was still premenopausal but my onc wanted to prepare for the eventuality that I'd go on aromatase inhibitors...hence my first bone scan. The result was -3.0 in spine and -1.9 in hip. :eek:

He recommended an infusion of Zometa (IV biphosphonate) to build up my bone density before starting the new medication (after menopause). In the meantime I started Evista (raloxifene) for the osteoporosis. Fortunately, because it's a SERM like tamoxifen, it also protects against recurrance of breast cancer. Has anyone mentioned Evista to you, as an alternative to Fosamax? I've had fairly good results in the spine with it. I haven't had any problems with it, but it does have side effects, so you should read up on it and decide if it's for you.

Oh, and after reading The Myth of Osteoporosis by Gillian Sanson, I decided against all biphosphonates for the time being. If my osteo gets worse I may reconsider, but for now I'm good. :D

Good luck with your decision!
Dx 5/04, age 49: Spine -3.0, Hip: -1.9
1/07: Spine -2.7, Hip -1.9
Evista since Oct 2004
Hi Aleta,
Thanks for the information. There is a new drug called Protelos that has been approved all over Europe. It works differently from the bisphosphonates in that it more closely replicates the normal cycle of bone. It is still going through clinical trials in the U.S. but it looks pretty good. I had asked my onc to consider raloxifen. I guess it is not usually used after tamoxifen but I think it would be a reasonable choice. Did you take the Zometa? If so how often did you get it?
Thanks for your reply,
Hi again Laurie!

Sorry I didn't mention that I opted not to have the Zometa infusion, which would have been once every 6 months if I remember correctly. I preferred the idea of one drug (Evista) addressing both of my health issues.

The original treatment plan for me was five years on tamoxifen, then switch to an aromatase inhibitor, provided I was menopausal by then. Unfortunately I wasn't quite there yet, but since there wasn't any other chemoprevention available for pre-menopausal women, I was stuck. My onc put me on Evista anyway since it was better than continuing with tamoxifen, and better than nothing.

I too am waiting for Protelos to be approved in the US. It looks like a quantum leap in osteoporosis treatment.