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Topic: Parathyroid disease and breast cancer

Forum: IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) — Just diagnosed, in treatment, or finished treatment for IDC.

Posted on: Mar 18, 2012 06:10AM - edited Mar 18, 2012 06:12AM by sam52

sam52 wrote:

I keep on seeing posts that people have had these dual diagnoses; sometimes the parathyroid disease pre-dated the bc and sometimes the other way round.

I am becoming convinced that the two are causally related, so am interested to see just how many of you have been affected. Many of us are getting osteoporotic and blaming it on chemo and/or AI therapy; hyperparathyroidism causes osteoporosis too, and many people are unaware of this and undiagnosed. This is seriously an issue that needs to be researched.

I was diagnosed with a parathyroid tumor (benign, as 99% of them are) in 2009, eight years after my bc dx - only because I eventually presented at the endocrinologist after ever-worsening osteoporosis, despite taking bisphosphonates.I had the adenoma removed, along with the gland, exactly two years ago, and as far as I know, the disease has now been halted.

Please add your coments to this thread, as I believe there are very many of us with these two diagnoses.

dx Oct 2001 IDC 1.6cm, stage II, grade 3, 3/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Mar 11, 2021 11:22AM sylviaexmouthuk wrote:

Hello everyone,

I finally managed to transfer the picture and information from when I posted on the High calcium thread, so that we have everything together. I hope the diagram helps.

Thank you Ceanna for posting your picture. It is so useful

Love and best wishes to all.

Sylvia xxxx

Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food - Hippocrates B.C. 390 Preadjuvant chemo 3 months epirubicin, cyclophosphamide, 3 months docetaxel. Mastectomy RB Sentinel node pos Radiotherapy 3 weeks + boosters Dx 6/20/2005, IDC, 6cm+, Grade 3, 1/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/31/2005 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 5/16/2006 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 6/14/2006 Breast
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Mar 19, 2021 05:06PM zebra_co wrote:

I realize that this is the IDC forum, but I'm posting here because of the hyperparathyroid topic. It looks like most people commenting on this have had IDC. I had DCIS in 2016, so I apologize if I shouldn't be posting here.

This thread caught attention because I had hyperparathyroid surgery in 2015. It seems to be quite common, but it was actually me who diagnosed it and went to my doctor saying "I want to discuss my labs with you". This doctor had started monitoring my calcium level in August 2013. He told me that my calcium was too high and to stop taking my calcium supplement to see if that would improve my levels. It didn't. I decided one day to go on line and looked at my labs. I noticed the PTH being high and researched it. I went back to my doctor and asked him about it. He excused himself from the room (obviously to go do some research on it) and came back after about 15 minutes saying that I needed to see an endocrinologist who specializes in parathyroid problems. I had the surgery soon after. The bone density test was done several months later and showed that I had osteopenia. I left that doctor shortly thereafter. I have asked my new doctor to have the bone density test again to see if it has improved. Since my calcium levels are normal now, she has said that we should wait.

My DCIS was diagnosed less than a year after the parathyroidectomy. My oncologist didn't put me on any meds after my lumpectomy and radiation treatment due to both the osteopenia and an inherited gene that my dad gave me (lol) that puts me at high risk for blood clots. I think I will push for it at my next visit, I really want to know if my bone density has improved.

I have to wonder about this. About five years before the hyperparathyroid my first calcifications were found and biopsied, which turned out to be benign. Now almost five years after the DCIS I had calcifications (benign) again. Does anyone know whether the high calcium in the blood contributes to the calcifications in the breast?

I will do some additional research as I do find this interesting.

zebra :)



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Mar 19, 2021 05:56PM ceanna wrote:

zebra, thanks for posting your story. I'm glad you were persistent with doctors and got the parathyroid problem taken care of. I don't know if the high blood calcium contributes to breast calcifications, but I'll be interested if anyone posts an answer.

I too, had been diagnosed with osteopenia, but before my adenoma was removed. The para specialist recommended that I wait two years after that removal and then get another DEXA scan. Because of COVID, I actually had to wait about 2 1/2 years, but had another scan a couple of months ago and it showed less osteopenia and one hip has improved more than the other--I must be lopsided! Just keep asking your new doctor or ask your para specialist to recommend one. I hope, too, that you are having your vit. D levels checked. If low, make sure you get adequate D to improve your bone density. All the best!

Dx 2014, IDC, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Multi-catheter Surgery Lumpectomy: Right
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Mar 20, 2021 08:44AM - edited Mar 20, 2021 08:46AM by sylviaexmouthuk

Hello Zebra,

I have just read your interesting post.

You can see my own parathyroid and breast cancer story on this thread. When I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2005, I was told that they could see calcifications around my neck. I had high calcium levels in the blood and it was though that my cancer may have spread. My oncologist, breast cancer surgeon/endocrinologist carried out tests. They would have carried out parathyroid hormone tests, PTH, as well as the calcium level. They diagnosed hyperparathyroidism. I went through my cancer treatment and recovery and finally had a parathyroidectomy to remove a large, non malignant adenoma on the lower right parathyroid gland. My calcium etc. Immediately became normal. I was told that the adenoma had definitely preceded the breast cancer and that I had had it for a long time.

Bone density scans showed osteoporosis. I have not had any follow up scans but I do get calcium in my diet and do not take calcium supplements. I take plenty of vitamin D, high doses, and have sugar-free soy milk with added calcium etc., enriched sugar free soy yoghurt, and eat plenty of nuts and seeds, tinned wild red salmon and sardines with their bones.

Sending best wishes.

Sylvia

Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food - Hippocrates B.C. 390 Preadjuvant chemo 3 months epirubicin, cyclophosphamide, 3 months docetaxel. Mastectomy RB Sentinel node pos Radiotherapy 3 weeks + boosters Dx 6/20/2005, IDC, 6cm+, Grade 3, 1/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 10/31/2005 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 5/16/2006 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 6/14/2006 Breast
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Mar 20, 2021 11:05AM - edited Mar 20, 2021 11:09AM by Jons_girl

Hi Ladies:

Sorry for the stupid question but what is PTH test? What does PTH stand for? I'm wondering if I've done that test in my yearly blood work?

I have been having a lot of joint/bone pain since menopause and attributed the pain to me getting older. I am 53. I've been diagnosed with osteopenia. At 53!!! I'm active and eat well. But I feel like a old lady. My pain in my joints is bad.
my calcium level is usually anywhere from 9.1-9.7. Latest one in feb was 9.7. I get more blood work done in May because my iron levels are wonky! I have high iron binding capacity but I'm not absorbing the iron and have lower end of normal (doc would like it to be higher) iron.
ive never checked into my parathyroid. They are testing my thyroid levels in may with my blood work.

Is there any other labs that can be wonky with parathyroid problems other than calcium? My levels are in the high normal range at 9.7 my vit d I was taking 10k and that raised my level to 98😳so I've backed off my vit d lol

My mother has osteoporosis. Badly. She's 75. She is very active and always has been in good health.
but her calcium levels were about the same as mine 9.1-9.6 in the past she has also had the PTH test her first result was 72.2 in may of 2019 and then it was later 49.4 in aug 2019 should her PTH levels vary like that? Is that common? Is parathyroid disease when the PTH level is low or high?

She also had one of those 24 hour urine tests to check calcium levels she was low (first PTH level time frame)in calcium in her urine dr stated for her to take calcium and recheck her PTH level and it had gone down Just curious if this is nothing to worry about

I'm just wondering if my joint pain is from the parathyroid

Breast cancer at age 49. Felt tumor. Wasn’t caught on mammo even after feeling tumor. Ultrasound caught my cancer. Dx 6/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/5/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Mar 20, 2021 02:03PM ceanna wrote:

HI Jons-girl, there's no such thing as a stupid question--just a learning opportunity!! Ask away! A PTH test measures the parathyroid hormone level in your blood. Results may vary over time, as do blood calcium levels, but they are an indicator if something is going on with your parathyroids if either/both is high. I'm not sure anymore, of the "normal" range, but they suspect if over 10. It doesn't sound like either of your mother's readings are too high. Calcium levels, especially, would be high, not low, in the parathyroid results if there was an adenoma. She might ask to have her Vit. D. level checked. Low D can cause osteoporosis.

As for you having joint pain, it could be a symptom of parathyroidism. Your blood calcium, though, sounds fairly normal, but it doesn't hurt to ask your doctor for additional tests like the PTH and pursue answers if it keeps rising. Here's a list of symptoms and tests https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15043-parathyroid-adenoma-diagnosis--treatment

Dx 2014, IDC, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Multi-catheter Surgery Lumpectomy: Right
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Mar 20, 2021 06:58PM Jons_girl wrote:

thank you ceanna for this information and for answering my questions. I’m going to have my moms pth level rechecked. And I’ve never had mine checked I don’t think. So I will request that too. Thank you

Breast cancer at age 49. Felt tumor. Wasn’t caught on mammo even after feeling tumor. Ultrasound caught my cancer. Dx 6/2017, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/5/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Mar 26, 2021 09:16PM AutismMom1 wrote:

Related question – hope that is ok.

Has anyone had trouble with their remaining thyroid after radiation or starting AI's (particularly anastrozole)? I had a parathyroidectomy in 2003 – had 3 paras and 1 thyroid removed. I have something called mulitple endocrine neoplasia – inherited. Thyroid has been fine, but I take calcium to make up for my lost parathyroids. Fast forward to Jan 2019 diagnosed with ILC, then surgery, then radiation in May/June, started anastrozole in July. My TSH at that point was 1.3 but has risen to the point that it was in the 7's last month. My new endo did not really have a reason for why, but it just occurred to me (and my husband) that maybe it was the anastrozole or the radiation that ruined my remaining thyroid. Has anyone else had remaining thyroid go bad after starting Ais or having radiation? If so, just wondering how you fixed it. Dr. put me on thyroid meds which I am not happy about…taking the AI (now letrozole) is bad enough.

ILC Jan. 2019 Dx @ 46 Dx ILC, 4cm, Stage IIIA, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery Mastectomy
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Mar 27, 2021 12:34PM ceanna wrote:

Autismmom, great questions, and I hope you can get to the bottom of this. I'm sorry I can't answer, but I wonder if it would be more visible if you start a thread with some of those key words in your thread title? Someone may have the answers but missed seeing this because they only read the word parathyroid and didn't think they had a reply for your thyroid quesitons. Maybe title it "thyroid issues and AI" or similar keywords will catch someone's attention who would have more info? All the best that you find answers.

Dx 2014, IDC, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Multi-catheter Surgery Lumpectomy: Right
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Apr 6, 2021 06:32PM AutismMom1 wrote:

Ceanna - Thanks I may try that ~ if I can figure out how to. Smile It is such a small segment of the people here I imagine there are even fewer that are affected by Parathyroid AND thyroid issues...

ILC Jan. 2019 Dx @ 46 Dx ILC, 4cm, Stage IIIA, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery Mastectomy
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Apr 6, 2021 07:56PM LillyIsHere wrote:

AutismMom, yes, I had a similar situation. 6 months after I started letrozole, my thyroid levels start moving towards hypothyroid levels. Then a lump was developed within few days. Ultrasound verified the lump, and the biopsy showed it as benign. Now I need to check the it every year. On another note, thyroid levels went back to normal. Other than letrozole, I can't think of anything else causing this weird fluctuation.

“Within five years, cancer will have been removed from the list of fatal maladies.” That was the optimistic promise to U.S. President William Howard Taft in 1910 when he visited Buffalo’s Gratwick Laboratory, “What’s taking so long?” Dx 7/31/2019, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IIA, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/19/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 11/30/2019 Femara (letrozole)
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Apr 7, 2021 12:06AM ceanna wrote:

Autismmom, there may be more people with both than you think. I had both thyroid and parathyroid surgeries, but I never took AIs so don't have that in common with you. To start a new thread, go to the "All Topics" section, find the forum you want to post under and click on that forum. Then look for the button to "Start a new topic."

Dx 2014, IDC, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Multi-catheter Surgery Lumpectomy: Right

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