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All TopicsForum: Bone Health and Bone Loss → Topic: Breast Cancer and Osteoporosis

Topic: Breast Cancer and Osteoporosis

Forum: Bone Health and Bone Loss — Talk with others about bone density, osteopenia and osteoporosis, and ways to keep your bones strong

Posted on: Feb 12, 2012 02:16PM, edited Feb 12, 2012 02:23PM by Brenda_R

Brenda_R wrote:

I wish I had paid more attention to possible bone loss due to chemo and BC.

I just had my first bone density screening and it was very bad. I did some research and found an article from the National Institutes on Health about BC and Osteoporosis. This is not just for those that took AI's either. I was not hormone positive. It can be a result of taking certain chemo drugs or from the BC itself, according to this article. I'll try to post a link. 

I just want others to be aware!

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Posts 1 - 15 (15 total)

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Feb 12, 2012 02:21PM marie317 wrote:

Me too.

I wish one of my doctors would have ordered a bone density scan before I began the Tamoxifen, etc.  It would have been nice to have something to have compared it to... for all I know, I may have had osteoporosis before treatment.

http://thepinkbirdie.blogspot.com

Dx 6/2/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 12, 2012 02:53PM Brenda_R wrote:

http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Osteoporosis/Conditions_Behaviors/osteoporosis_breast_cancer.asp

Dx 12/12/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 1/17 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+Surgery 12/29/2006 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Chemotherapy 01/28/2007 Adriamycin, CytoxanRadiation Therapy 05/01/2007 ExternalTargeted Therapy 07/10/2007 Herceptin
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Feb 12, 2012 03:01PM Brenda_R wrote:

Not a single one of my doctors over the last 5 years said one word about the bone density screening.  Including 2 Oncologists, 1 Orthopediac Surgeon, my Oncology Radiologist, or 2 Family Practice docs.  I'm celebrating being 5 yrs out from DX and NED, and worked hard to lose weight and get healthy over the last 2 yrs, and I get hit with this. Don't get me wrong, I am greatful to be NED.  This is just another health problem, but it possibly could have been avoided if I'd had the proper advice.

Dx 12/12/2006, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 1/17 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+Surgery 12/29/2006 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Chemotherapy 01/28/2007 Adriamycin, CytoxanRadiation Therapy 05/01/2007 ExternalTargeted Therapy 07/10/2007 Herceptin
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Feb 12, 2012 06:03PM sam52 wrote:

Make sure you also ask for parathyroid hormone testing - a lot us of seem to have elevated levels and this can cause osteoporosis too. It is underdiagnosed and appears to have some correlation with a BC dx

dx Oct 2001 IDC 1.6cm, stage II, grade 3, 3/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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Feb 12, 2012 06:08PM tenaj wrote:

I was dx with hyperparathyroidism 3 months after my BC dx. My onc found my calcium levels elevated & did further tests & confirmed by an endocrinologist. Surgery done 11/11 for a benign adenoma. Things normal in that department now.

Surgery 01/17/2011 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)Surgery 06/15/2011 Mastectomy (Both)Surgery 06/29/2011 Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Hormonal Therapy 09/15/2011 FemaraHormonal Therapy 06/01/2012 TamoxifenSurgery 01/29/2013 Reconstruction: Nipple reconstruction (Both)
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Feb 12, 2012 06:32PM Ysa wrote:

This whole thing seems so ironic.  I nearly fell over when my BS told me I would be on an AI for at least 5 years (I'm surgically post-menopausal and my BC can't get much more homone receptive than it is) and then discovered that one of its side effects is bone density loss.  That was just a couple of days after my PCP put me on Fosamax because my osteopenia is just this side of full on osteoporosis. 

Uhm...uhm...what's a girl to do??

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes, courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying "I will try again tomorrow". (Mary Anne Radmacher); one 9 mm and one 7mm mass in right breast, bone mets/lumbar spine, Xgeva started 12/2012

Dx 1/6/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ib, Grade 1, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Dx 11/2012, IDC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-Radiation Therapy ExternalSurgery 03/23/2012 Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Surgery 03/23/2012 Mastectomy (Right); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Left); Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Both)Hormonal Therapy 05/01/2012 FemaraRadiation Therapy 02/19/2013 External
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Feb 12, 2012 06:35PM Fearless_One wrote:

Yes, my onc told me the chemo itself could cause osteoporosis.   Combine that with menopause and Arimidex, and I guess I am pretty high risk.  

For what it's worth, my friend broke her hip and was back to work in a WEEK.   I feel a little better knowing they can patch you up so quickly these days if something does happen (which it may not).

lump/chemo/rads/hyster-ooph/mastectomy/implants

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Feb 12, 2012 11:01PM, edited Feb 13, 2012 02:40PM by ICanDoThis

Ysa - my bones were just the other side of osteoporotic, and I was on Fosamax when I was diagnosed the same grade and stage as you.

While NCCN guidelines prescribe AIs for post-menopausal, hormone-positive women, many docs are open to keeping low-grade women on tamox, which is actually so good for one's bones that my onc took me off Fosamax. The difference at our stage between the 2 treatments is about 1%, which to me wasn't worth destroying my bones.

What I did was refuse the AI, take tamoxifen and do an aggressive program of bone improvement - had Vitamin D tested, and take vitamins that contains all the micronutrients one needs for bone health - a little vitamin K, a little magnesium, made sure I got enough calcium in my diet (breaskfast yogurt takes care of that). And do weight-bearing exercise (that is, walking)
My bones are rebuilding, to the point where I am on the good size of osteopenia/ostroporosis. 

Sue - Proud to be Krista's Mom

Dx 12/28/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 3, 2012 08:10AM purple32 wrote:

Fearless

I have known people who have broken a hip and ended up in a nursing home.  That had to be a "minor" clean break your friend had.

 I am on the edge of osteoporosis anmd  have broken 3 bones  BEFORE this dx ( I am 54 btw) and it is bad.  I will not take  a biosphosphate <can make bones more brittle> or armidex which greatly accelerates bone loss.

What's a girl to do (?) is right !  I feel that the disabling risks of osteoporosis may potentially be worse than my BC dx.  It's a crap shoot for me and quite discouraging.

Lymphedema on LEFT. NO radiation. 2 clean nodes. purple32. Hope is our light ... in the night.

Dx 3/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 05/01/2012 Lumpectomy (Left)
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Jun 3, 2012 02:22PM peggy_j wrote:

ICanDoThis wrote:

My bones are rebuilding, to the point where I am on the good size of osteopenia/ostroporosis.

Wow, that's terrific. I didn't know it was possible to reverse bone loss, just to stop it or slow it down. Congrats on the excellent results.  Yeah, I'm revisiting my dairy intake from food (I'm lactose intolerant so it's a bit more work). But now I'm inspired. Thanks for posting.

Dx 2/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 10, 2012 08:57PM Mopsy wrote:

I heard from Gyn that testosterone gel from a compounding pharmacy does way more to prevent bone loss than any of the standard treatments.  He gave me the perccentages and they were astounding.  Does anyone use this gel?

Oncotype Dx 11; no chemo; no reconstruction; multi-focal; post-menopausal

Dx 12/21/2011, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIb, Grade 1, 4/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-Surgery 02/28/2012 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection, Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Radiation Therapy 05/14/2012 ExternalHormonal Therapy 07/12/2012 Tamoxifen
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Jun 14, 2012 08:13PM dogsandjogs wrote:

Depends on the break. I had a very wide fracture of the femoral neck. They doc put in 3 pins the size of knitting needles. I was able to walk (toe touch only) the next day and could drive the next week. On the other hand, my 3 vertebrae fractures were much more painful and look 3 months to heal.

Dx 11/1982, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/17 nodesDx 11/15/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+Surgery 11/17/1982 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal (Right); Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent), Nipple reconstruction (Right)Surgery 02/11/2011 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)
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Aug 17, 2012 04:23PM LtotheK wrote:

I'm reading around in this section, as I'm in the same boat.  With my family risk, I'm a little appalled my onc didn't get a baseline and put me on Zometa during treatment to deal with bone loss from chemopause and treatment.  Not sure why that's not SOP, since they invariably foist the Fosamax later.  Waiting for my second DEXA results after a year on Fosamax, two years on Tamoxifen, 3x a week weightlifting, and calcium supplementation, as well as D management (though I still run quite low).  A girl can only do so much before throwing the old hands up.

My issue is, I'm firmly convinced Fosamax is bunk.  I'm using it so they don't push Prolia in a year or two if things progress. 

Tamoxifen is a very tricky drug.  For pre-menopausal women, it can actually have the same effect on bones as AIs.  That is why regardless of treatment protocol, I think it's so important for women to be vigilant with diagnosis and self-care so they don't end up with more damage than necessary. 

These conditions can be reversed.  It is not easy to do, but it does happen.  Of course it varies person to person, and I think the accuracy of the DEXA given a lot of factors must be weighed.  Reminds me a bit of lymphedema:  a real lack of study and a double edged sword of treatment! 

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Aug 29, 2012 12:26AM Joan1112 wrote:

I was diagnosed with breast cancer and osteoporosis this last june. It was a double blow. The osteoporosis treatment is actually the hardest decision. I had lumpectomy in july, low oncotype recurrence score, no chemo, but 4 weeks of radiation. After that he recommends arimidex as hormone therapy and zometa IV every 6 months for the osteoporosis. Has anyone used this combination? Good results? Side effects? I hate taking all these drugs.....but want to do what's best...

Dx 6/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 8, 2012 06:32PM NSJ2 wrote:

So what about all the Zometa/Boniva side effects I read about?  How common or what are the % risks of contracting these?

-Femur Fractures

-Esophageal Cancer

-Osteonecrosis of the Jaw/Dead Jaw Syndrome

-Atrial Fibrillation

-Severe Musculoskelatal Pain

Source: http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/zometa

NSJ2

8-14-12 Stereotactic Biopsy Results: Left Breast DCIS (6mm), Grade 1, Stage 0, ER+/PR+. 8-21-12 Bilat 3D MRI showed no other areas. 9-20-12 Lumpectomy final path 3.5mm Pure DCIS. 33 Rad planned then hormone therapy.