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Topic: Bone Mets Thread

Forum: Stage IV and Metastatic Breast Cancer ONLY —

A place for those managing the ups & downs of a Stage IV/metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. Please respect that this forum is for Stage IV members only. There is a separate forum For Family and Caregivers of People with a STAGE IV Diagnosis.

Posted on: Jun 22, 2012 02:09AM - edited Oct 31, 2012 01:07AM by Jac53

Jac53 wrote:

I've started this thread after suggestions that it would be useful.

This is an easily readable Bone Mets Q&As from the Bone & Cancer Foundation:  http://www.boneandcancerfoundation.org/pdfs/Breast_Cancer_Q+A.pdf

Jeannie. "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." Dx 6/19/1995, 10/15 nodes Dx 2/18/2011, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 7/2/2012, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 22, 2012 07:48AM Godschild2 wrote:

Thanks for the info. It has some good info.

Dx 1/30/2012, Stage IV, ER-/PR- Hormonal Therapy 3/6/2012 Femara (letrozole)
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Jun 22, 2012 09:42AM smiley2 wrote:

This is interesting b/c it says that bone mets causes too much calcium in blood.  When I saw my onc recently he said something about too much Vit D causes calcium in blood.  So they tell us to raise our Vit. D levels.  If we raise them too much then does this create an environment for cancer?  My Vit D is on the high end now after being so low when I was first diagnosed...so should I now try to lower my Vit D?!

Stage 4; 2/16 nodes; ER+/PR+; Her2-
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Jun 22, 2012 09:52AM Jac53 wrote:

I'd only lower Vit D with my onc's agreement.  Vit D's an important little fella in the chemical mix.

Jeannie. "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." Dx 6/19/1995, 10/15 nodes Dx 2/18/2011, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 7/2/2012, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 22, 2012 10:03AM - edited Jun 22, 2012 10:09AM by exbrnxgrl

Thanks for the link. I have a single bone met which is necrotic after rads. I am on Arimidex and have been on Aredia for 6 months. My original mo wanted me on Aredia or 22 months. Current mo says only 12 months because of possible onj and lack of conclusive evidence that it prevents spread of bone mets. If I'm still doing well at the 12 month point, I'll revisit the issue with her. Caryn

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole)
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Jun 22, 2012 02:49PM cookie97 wrote:

Thanks for the link. I have mulitple bone mets yet I've only had symptoms twice which were/was (?) before dx. and nothing since then. Guess the Zometa helped with that.

Keep in touch,

Edie

Dx 5/6/2010, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 23, 2012 09:06AM GoldenEyes wrote:

OK  I had x ray done this morning on my h ips/pelvis area.  How does bc mets show on an x ray?  white spots, black spots?  its so hard to tell.  Hoping I find out before I go on vacation next week.  It could be DDD spreading all over, is that possible? I never had pain that bad tht spread down to my leg, where I had trouble walking.  Have a great weekend ladies

Donna

Dx 9/20/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 25, 2012 01:22AM - edited Jun 28, 2012 02:26AM by myangels

Hi Donna,

  I'm not completely sure, but I think anything abnormal on xray would show up as shadowing or density. Unless of course it's a fracture, then you would be able to see the fracture or break. A definitive dx not usually made till the follow-up with CTscan, Bone scan, or MRI. I have extensive bone mets and my bone mets showed up as increased uptake activity. The uptake is the dye thats administered for the bone scan. It will usually "light up" at the bones that have cancer. 

 You should consult with your onc after you get your xray results back and determine if you need any followup.

I hope your pain is better and you're able to walk more comfortably. Good luck!

Rose

Dx 2/1/2010, IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/12/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Jun 25, 2012 07:56AM smiley2 wrote:

Golden eyes, I am leary of xrays.  When having pain I went to an orthopedic b/c I thought it was from an injury..not cancer...and the xray didn't show cancer.  After 4 weeks of PT and things weren't better, they did an MRI and that is where it showed up.  I would have a back up scan if you can just to be sure!  Could it also be something to do with your sciatic nerve?  That usually has symptoms of going down the back of your leg!  Wishing you good luck!

Stage 4; 2/16 nodes; ER+/PR+; Her2-
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Jun 25, 2012 09:55AM exbrnxgrl wrote:

Donna,
I had PET and MRI which suggested a bone met and a biopsy confirmed it. My mo does not use standard x-rays for possible mets. Caryn

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole)
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Jun 25, 2012 10:12AM SusanR wrote:

I had a very large met in my hip and an XRay showed nothing.  I couldn't walk from the pain down the front of my leg.  I wasn't thinking mets at the time and just rested my bones until I couldn't take it any longer and a few months later an MRI showed severe mets in the hip.  For me, I think XRays are a waste of time and money.  SusanR

IDC 2002 Stage II Grade 3 4/29 nodes ER/PR+ Her2- Stage IV Dec 2008 Bone ER+/PR-/Her2- Bone Progression Oct.2011 to Spine,Skull and Rib Dx 11/22/2002, IDC, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 4/29 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/25/2002 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Chemotherapy 1/7/2003 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 1/7/2003 Adriamycin (doxorubicin) Chemotherapy 1/7/2003 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) Radiation Therapy 7/5/2003 Breast Radiation Therapy 1/20/2009 Bone Hormonal Therapy 10/10/2011 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Targeted Therapy 12/1/2016 Ibrance (palbociclib)
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Jun 25, 2012 01:25PM nikibird wrote:

Thanks for the thread!

Does anyone know what it means when my tumor markers go down, but the LDH goes up??

sharon Dx 3/3/2012, IDC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Jun 30, 2012 06:40AM Jac53 wrote:

No, but I'm sure someone will be along who does know.

Jeannie. "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." Dx 6/19/1995, 10/15 nodes Dx 2/18/2011, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 7/2/2012, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 1, 2012 01:14AM Naniam wrote:

I have widespread and extensive bone mets.  I had no symptoms, no pain.  My calcium level, alk.phos., etc., showed all was ok. Nothing was elevated .  I was ready to leave when I just happened to mention having some shortness of breath and a cough with exertion and the cough was worse at night when I lay down.  Chest xray led to a CT with contrast of my chest - not in my lungs but showed in my bones.  My oncologist kept saying "we don't understand why you weren't having pain" over and over to me.   My bone mets advanced on Faslodex.  Am no on Araxane, we'll see.  After my mets diagnosis my PCP ran some blood test and he checked my Vitamin D level and told me I had basically no Vitamin D.  I did have plenty at an early check - so now have to take the Vitamin D. 

Anyone having problems with low calcium, potassium and sodium levels?  Now I have many areas that are painful and am having trouble with the pain meds being enough and have only been on Oxycontin and Oxycodene for about a month - looks like we will have to increase the dosage. 

Dx 8/18/2005, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 0/7 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 1, 2012 01:26AM Jac53 wrote:

Nickibird:  Still no info on your raised LDH question I see.  I'm writing here to bump up this thread & maybe attract an answer for you.

Naniam: I had high calcium. The onc stopped my Calcium & Vit D supplements until my bloods came back ok for that. Don't understand the Vit D link but I know it's important for bone health.

I also have widespread bone mets & Diclofenec=Voltaren=Fentanyl  works best for me for pain.

Jeannie. "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." Dx 6/19/1995, 10/15 nodes Dx 2/18/2011, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 7/2/2012, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 1, 2012 08:32AM smiley2 wrote:

jac53,

Was that a blood test that showed high calcium?  My recent Vit D was really high so doctor told me that wasn't good and to stop taking it because it caused high calcium levels.  But he doesn't have a calcium number for me. 

Naniam,

Does your doctor test your calcium, potassium and sodium levels with blood test?  I know my oncologist wouldn't do this. I could probably have my ND to it.  Is there a connnection with low calcium, potassium, sodium and cancer? Is that what causes bone pain? 

This reminds me of the question on a Gerson thread...why do they eat potatoes b/c I thought they were "white" and starchy.  But I think potatoes have a lot of potassium and sodium so I wonder if that is why Gerson has that as part of their cancer treatment? 

Stage 4; 2/16 nodes; ER+/PR+; Her2-
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Jul 1, 2012 09:15AM stagefree wrote:

Ok right here right now I confess I cannot wait till night to take my next painkiller, sisters. My back hurts so much today, it is Contramal time!

Smiley2, my cancer dietitian (?) too put potatoes on my diet.
Lol

Dx 4/9/2012, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 1, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/11/2012 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 8/24/2012 Hormonal Therapy 6/8/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Chemotherapy 6/8/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Jul 1, 2012 10:32AM Jac53 wrote:

Hi stagefree.  You go for it.  Painkillers rock.

Jeannie. "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." Dx 6/19/1995, 10/15 nodes Dx 2/18/2011, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 7/2/2012, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 1, 2012 10:56AM Jac53 wrote:

Smiley2: My onc requested the calcium level in a routine blood test.  I can't find my results here at home as I'm in the middle of a move.  

Jeannie. "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." Dx 6/19/1995, 10/15 nodes Dx 2/18/2011, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 7/2/2012, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 2, 2012 08:13AM meima-Bev wrote:

I have extensive bone mets for 6 years and my sodium level has been consistently low or borderline.  I've had minimal to tolerable bone pain for the last 6 yrs. until the last month or so.  This new, terrible pain is in my left shin area.  Can't figure why other than new mets or bone pain due to Aromasin which I started 5 months ago.  Had clear ultra sound and xray.  I see Onc.  tomorrow and am due for my 6 month Pet/Ct but will request whole body scan rather than usual scan which ends at mid thigh. Hoping it's se's rather than more mets!!       Bev

Dx 8/31/2006, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 2, 2012 08:47AM chrissyb wrote:

Bev I have heard that the mets rarely go below the knee so here's hoping it's just a SE.

Love n hugs. Chrissy

I found my peace which gave me strength. 52 at dx. Dx 12/8/2003, IDC, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/12 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 2, 2012 09:34AM meima-Bev wrote:

Thanks Chrissy, I heard that too.  Here's hoping!!       Bev

Dx 8/31/2006, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 4, 2012 05:49AM Jac53 wrote:

meima-bev:  Have you had your bone scan/results?

Jeannie. "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." Dx 6/19/1995, 10/15 nodes Dx 2/18/2011, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 7/2/2012, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 4, 2012 07:44AM meima-Bev wrote:

Jac53, thanks for asking. Saw Onc. yesterday.  She is ordering a ct scan with contrast of leg. She feels leg pain is probably a se of Aromasin. If scan is negative (hopefully), then will consider going off aromasin and back to femara, which worked in past, but stopped due to horrible side effects.   Hoping for clear scan, then I have choice of being in pain from aromasin or sick from femara. I've been doing this almost 6 yrs. now and since it's still confined to bones want to save other treatments (i.e.faslodex or chemo) till I have to.     Bev

Dx 8/31/2006, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 4, 2012 09:38AM Jac53 wrote:

Good luck for the results Bev & thanks for giving your news!

Jeannie. "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." Dx 6/19/1995, 10/15 nodes Dx 2/18/2011, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 7/2/2012, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 4, 2012 10:18AM Joy78 wrote:

I just found this site.  This month will mark 5 years since I had my mastecomy.  But, I do have bc that spread to the bone.  I also had surgery for a spinal tumor in Dec. 2006. I also had 3 Cyberknife treatments in Jan. of 2007for my back.   I was on Femera and was getting monthly infusions of Zometa.  Had to stop the ZOmeta because of jaw bone deterioration, which is a se of the ZOmeta.    It seems all of those kinds of drugs have this se.  I had been getting MRI's, CAT scans, PET scan regularly as they were watching a place in my spine.  After a PET scan in Dec. there was a slight change in this area.  My oncologist took me off of the Femara and put me on Aromisin.  I had had no problems with the Femara, but have had some slight se,  which I am attributing to the Aromisin.  Trouble with my legs and tireness.  After blood work last Friday,  the cancer center nurse called and said there was a raise in my calcium level.  I am going tomorrow for a one-time infusion of the Zometa.  I also had PET scan last Friday, also, and have an appt. with the oncologist next Tues.  I am wondering what has caused the calcium level to rise.  I have not had any problems for the past 5 years, except have to use a walker from the problems I had with my spine. But, I have felt great this whole time and able to lead a pretty normal life.  I am 78. I don't have any pains at all.  I am trying not to worry but am wondering if anyone has had this problem and what. All of the postings I have read above are very encouraging.   Thanks. 

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Jul 4, 2012 10:29AM chrissyb wrote:

Hi Joy and welcome to BCO and this thread.

When you have a rise of calcium levels in the blood stream it is often a sign of active bone mets or a vitamin D3 deficiency.  Another cause can be related to the thyroid.  

Have you ever had your D3 checked?  It is just a blood test but it is important as you have bone mets  (so do I by the way). If your D3 is low, it can also explain your calcium being high as it is the D3 and magnesium in your blood stream that helps the body put the calcium from your blood back into your bones rather than excreting it out through your kidneys or causing kidney or gall stones.

I'm glad you are and have been feeling so well through out your journey with BC and I hope it stays that way for a long while to come.

Love n hugs.  Chrissy 

I found my peace which gave me strength. 52 at dx. Dx 12/8/2003, IDC, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/12 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 4, 2012 12:02PM - edited Jul 4, 2012 12:10PM by Joy78

Thanks, Chrissy.  I get regular blood tests,  but would that be a separate one from just the routine ones.   I will mention it tomorrow when I go for the infusion.  The blood work I had done in May was the best it has ever been.   So, this really has me puzzled.  Unless, which is what I am thinking,  the place in my spine is what is causing it and the new med, Aromisin, isn't helping.  The orthopedic oncologist did tell me that I could have more of the Cyberknife treatments.   The blood work for the tumor markers was better than it has ever been.   When I was first diagnosed back in 2006,   those numbers were very high up in the 100's.  It is down to 41 now, and the normal is 38.   In February,  when I saw the orthopedic dr, he was the one who mentioned about this place they have been keeping an eye on in my spine.  And, he preceded to tell me not to worry about it and the medical oncologist had told me not to lose any sleep over it.  That I was more worried about it than they were.  Easy for them to say. So, that is another reason why I am puzzled now after everything being pretty good in May. 

 I see where you are a long-time survivor..... nearly 9 years.  That is wonderful and hope that you feel good.  And continue to do well.  Thanks again for your encouraging needs.

   Hugs back to you,  too.     Joy

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Jul 4, 2012 04:56PM ibcmets wrote:

Bev,

I have bone mets since the start 3 years ago. Since around Arpil I've had pain in the L knee and down my calf and back of knee.  Had to go to orthopedic Dr.  Did MRI and found moderate arthritis.  I'm going to get a shot of Synvisc in the knee this week.  It's supposed to last 6 months. 

Onc will request full Pet scan this month.  I get them every 6 months, but usually only till mid-thigh.

Hope you can get rid of your pain soon.

Terri

6/2009 stage IV diagnosis w bone mets ,Xgeva , 2015 brain mets, liver metastasis
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Jul 4, 2012 11:21PM chrissyb wrote:

Joy, it's good to see your markers dropping so well.  At 41 you are almost back to normal and if the pain in your leg was due to mets they would be rising so I'm pretty sure you are looking at either arthritis or perhaps a bit of nerve damage from the mets in your spine.

I have very bad arthritis and had a total knee replacement done 12 weeks ago so the other leg has been taking all the work to keep me getting around.  That knee also needs to be replaced and I have been having shin pain  as well but I'm sure that is  transfered from the knee. 

 Apart from fatigue I am doing very well and am only on Femara and have been for 21 months but it seems to be doing its job and keeping me stable.  Here's hoping the Aromasin does it for you.

Love n hugs.  Chrissy 

I found my peace which gave me strength. 52 at dx. Dx 12/8/2003, IDC, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/12 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 5, 2012 11:15AM smiley2 wrote:

Is cyberknife treatment the type of radiation treatment that is now more exact at cancer location?  Meaning it will just kill cancer cells and not healthy cells around the cancer? 

Stage 4; 2/16 nodes; ER+/PR+; Her2-

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