Heard about Zometa & read some studies that said the infusion can help reduce percentage of reoccurrence of breast cancer. Anyone have any knowledge or experience ?
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OK, I am a fan of Zometa (suggested to me by Dana Farber) -- had to come "home" and educate my oncologist. I started a month after my last radiation treatment (which was 6 weeks long). I had Stage IIIc ILC. Willing to do anything that hints at tumor suppression in the bones (in addition to bone strengthening). Due for a 2 yr ck on bone density, but last ck bone density had improved. I do need to say, however, dental work is tricky having been on Zometa. I can't get a dentist to do any restorative work because of the jaw necrosis possible side effect (and that includes a consultation at Tufts) I had three years of Zometa (the current standard of care according to DF), infusions 6 mos. apart (through my PortaCath). The effects of Zometa (whether they be bad or good) are supposed to last a very long time. Haven't read up on the current medical papers on Zometa, but I'm sure you can find some updated info.
I did letrozole for 5 years but my endocrinologist did not want to do Reclast (same drug as Zometa; Zometa is used at higher doses for stage 4 I believe) due to some other health issues I have. I lost a lot of bone density and fractured three lumbar vertebrae. Painful and disabling.
I have now done two years of Tymlos and bone density looks better than before cancer. I have to do Reclast to "lock in" my gains. They are doing a 20% dose with IV hydration to see how my kidneys do. Be aware that these meds can potentially affect kidneys so have kidney testing done first.
There are several studies that indicate it can reduce late distant recurrence by about 26% or more.
I just finished chemotherapy last week and still need 6 weeks of radiation. I was wondering who has started Zometa, how do you feel and how long after the end of chemotherapy did you start.
Not breast cancer but my brother has perfectly healthy 60 year old bones and just received two compression fractures for his troubles helping a neighbor, when he fell backward and landed on his bottom. He is now in terrible pain, a back brace, and using a walker. If I can avoid this I will! If this drug might be helping my cancer, that is just a bonus.
@tygerrag2 did you decide to try the zometa?
Apparently 10% develop jaw bone necrosis on the doses prescribed for cancer patients. It is hard to discern whether Zometa has an effect on the cancer itself (not just the effect on bones) since I have seen differing info online, but my doc implied there was this kind of benefit. Others here have posted on this as well.
I am with Chris on the pain of fractures. With metastasis to bones that risk is high. @pbnew I can't remember if you are stage 4. If not, then a partial dose of Reclast might be possible-? If your bones are not osteoporotic that is a different story!
Here's how I understand it. I have one more infusion remaining of my 3 year course. This drug was originally prescribed to patients to strengthen bones (like other biophosphonates), or guard against bone loss due to the side effects of other drugs (like AI's), but over the course of time, some studies have shown that this particular biophosphonate may have tumor suppression properties. I think the jury is still out on this. However, if there is a small bit of a chance that this might be true, personally I'm going for it. It was prescribed to me by a cancer center. My local oncologist knew nothing about it. My teeth, however, are a mess. That old risk/benefit conversation.
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Zometa is a bisphosphonate derivative. It can cause BRONJ osteonarcosis as can the bisphosphonates and Prolia. I know someone who was put on it after having had breast cancer and the person developed early signs of jaw bone issues and was taken off of it. If you think that you might be addressing complex dental issues in the future, please advise your physician to make sure zometa is right for you.
I have seen conflicting information about the benefits of zometa for breast cancer patients but leave that to oncologists and others with experience with AIs and zometa.
@mdr3, are you saying Zometa or AIs are affecting teeth?
Having extractions or anything that affect bone below the tooth puts you at a risk for jaw issues while taking Zometa. The dentist and hygienist can work with you before starting and during to minimize your risk of problems. Like anything, it is a cost vs benefit assessment for each of us. I love how our oncologist explains his reasoning for every recommendation. The thing that sold me was knowing the pain my husband had with a compression fracture. Every one of those takes away from his quality of life. If I can avoid that pain, I will.
I refused the Zometa and I had to sign a document to that effect. In my opinion the side effects are worse than some of the cancer drugs especially the jaw and teeth. The study which is documented in another Zometa discussion on the Mayo forum shows 6% less of bone fractures than No Zometa and it does not have any anti cancer properties. I’m keeping my bones strong with proper diet, sunshine/vitamin D-K3 ,daily treadmill with incline and some yoga.
I don’t know how to link this discussion withe other one but the administrator can do it. It’s worth reading.
Best wishes to all of us as we search for a way out.
“First do no harm.”
Zometa can help strengthen bones. It also has been implicated in necrosis of the jaw. Seems counter-intuitive, doesn't it? I can't have any major dental work until I am at least 6 mos. past my last infusion.
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