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3 days ago · Zometa (Zoledronic acid), should I take if not on AIs? in Breast Cancer

Wondering if anyone with Stage 1 or Stage 2 breast cancer is taking Zometa or Reclast even if they are NOT using aromatase inhibitors (Ais)?

I have stopped taking AIs so at next oncology appointment there will be a discussion if I should also stop the Zometa IVs.

My layman's understanding of why to give Zoledronic acid to patients receiving AIs is that AIs reduces estrogen in body (to prevent recurrence of breast cancer) , but the decreased estrogen levels are associated with elevated rates of osteolysis and the resulting bone loss. Zoledronic acid belongs to a group of drugs called bisphosphonates and those drugs slow down or prevent bone damage.

There is also research that suggested that Zometa also might help stop breast cancer from spreading to the bones by making it harder for breast cancer cells to grow in bones. But my oncologist said it only reduced the risk of breast cancer cells in bone by 1-2% .

My treatment background:

After my treatment for breast cancer (lumpectomy, few positive lymph nodes removed, chemo and radiation) , my oncologist placed me on AIs and Zometa IV every 6 months for 3 years. AIs caused multiple side effects (discussed in other threads on Mayo Connect) so after a year I have stopped taking. So now the question is there a reason or benefit to continue with Zometa if not taking AIs. My next is infusion is due in Oct 2020.

Before making the decision, the dr decided to check my bone density. In 2018, after initial diagnosis and before any treatment a bone density was done. This week it was repeated. I was pleasantly surprised that I had slight improvement in bone density. For a 64 year old post-menopausal women who has undergone breast cancer treatment, anything that showed my bone density is not deteriorating is great news.

Any insight from others on Connect is appreciated.

Laurie

Tue, Jul 28 8:26am · Abnormal lumps on breast ultrasound in Breast Cancer

Did the dr giving you his opinion a radiologist, your primary dr or an oncologist?

If it was me, I would request 2nd opinion. At a minimum, I would ask for a biopsy to verify what it is. Then you would know for sure.

Laurie

Sat, Jul 25 3:01pm · Cancer medications yes or no? Tamoxifen as prevention? in Women's Health

There are many items that go into decision about taking AIs. Not everyone has adverse side effects so it is worth trying. If you have problems with one AI, your provider may suggest trying a different one. I tried 3 different ones over year and half and at end decided against taking AI.

Some of the factors effecting AI include:
– Type of breast cancer and if any lymph nodes were positive
– Age
– Treatments received (chemo and / or radiation)
– Side effects and do the side effects limit your quality of life
– And I am sure there are others

I discussed with my oncologist the survivor rate and recurrence rate with and without Ais.

Each person has to evaluate their situation and make decision.

Laurie

Sun, Jul 19 6:32am · Newly diagnosed and trying to decide where to get treatment in Breast Cancer

I can imagine your emotions are all over the place. I am not familiar with Sanford, but encouraged by idea you are seeing multiple specialties.

I was treated a Mayo Rochester and appreciated having all my providers working together for best solution. With breast cancer, you need a team approach. As you can see from your upcoming appointments, there are many specialist involved.

As a previous comment mentioned, if you're not comfortable with a provider, seek a 2nd opinion. It is your body and your decision.

Be careful about seeking out to much info from internet. Lot of information out there, but make sure read accurate info. Want to be informed, but be careful that reading all the info does not increases your anxiety.

Before your next set of appointments, create a written list of questions you have so do not forget. If possible bring someone with you. Two set of ears are better than one.

I felt more comfortable with diagnosis after receiving my treatment plan. I felt more in control once I knew the plan.

Finally advice, do not try to be super women. Ask for and accept help from others. If needed, ask your dr to suggest a therapist to talk to. Your mental health is very important also, and having a professional to talk to may help you through a very stressful time.

Wishing you the best

Laurie

Thu, Jul 2 6:38pm · Chemo before breast cancer surgery in Breast Cancer

The Anastrozole gave me depression, but then I just found out I had cancer, so wasn't in the best mood.

I tolerated IV chemo well, never vomited. The oncologist gave be meds to take during and after chemo to handle nausea. Lost hair after 2nd treatment, was very tired as treatment continued. I was retired, so did not have to worry about job. Chemo takes away all your energy so she need to plan on lots of rest. One of the more frustrating part was the inability to concentrate, "chemo brain".

Everyone reacts to chemo different, best advice is to your friend is if she has side effect is to let her dr know, meds and treatments can be changed to make your friend more comfortable.

Laurie

Thu, Jul 2 6:19pm · Chemo before breast cancer surgery in Breast Cancer

I took Anastrozole for 6 months prior to surgery, Anastrozole decreases the amount of estrogen the body makes and helps to slow or reverse the growth of these breast cancers. It is taken in pill form and can have side effects but nothing like IV chemo. I took as part of a research study.

I had stage 2 in one breast. After 6 months on Anastrozole I had lumpectomy, IV chemo and then radiation.

Depending on type of breast cancer she has, the oncologist may be looking at different options.

Laurie

Thu, Jul 2 8:31am · Post-op care locally after surgery at Mayo? in Visiting Mayo Clinic

I can not answer all questions, but can shed light on physical therapy. You can do physical therapy at non-Mayo locations. Many of my relatives who live in Rochester and had orthopedic surgery at Mayo Rochester did their PT at other facilities. The Mayo provider wrote a prescription? (instruction) to the PT facility about treatment needed.

Laurie

Thu, Jun 25 5:47pm · Mayo Clinic Patient Portal: How do I find it? in Visiting Mayo Clinic

Mayo COVID test results can be found under Test results. It will be called "SARS CORONAVIRUS-2, PCR ".

I had done at Mayo drive up location in Rochester and had results next day.

Laurie