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Bone density

Pommy8 Member Posts: 107
Just been to oncologist to get my bone density results and check up.
I saw my  Dr about bone density a few weeks ago she told me I had osteopaenia just said more calcium and walking didn't seem overly concerned. 
The test done before I started my letrozole and only needed radiation.
See oncologist today only to be told to chose infusion or prolia injection and telling me infusion helps cancer not to come back.
Thought hormone tablet was supposed to do that.
Anyone else had infusion if so how did you go.x


  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,194
    I have had some osteopenia for years but no prolia yet. My oncologist has offered even though I do not have osteoporosis but as I am very close to the end of 10 years of Letrozole, I think I will hang out. My main concern with prolia is the possible need to stay on it once started - at this stage, I am in the mood for reducing substance ingestion!! We’re all different - it may still be a good idea in your case but it’s worth asking about how long, staying on it indefinitely or not, avoiding any problems with dental treatment (you need to have treatment when you are at the end of a cycle I believe) or any other matters you may want to take into consideration. Best wishes.
  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,377

    From the BCNA website 

    If you put Prolia in the search within the forum you will find lots of discussion on this topic 
  • cranky_granny
    cranky_granny Member Posts: 580
    Interesting this exact discussion came up at my last oncology appointment. We decided to see what my next scans and blood tests show (next week) before jumping on the infusion or injection path. Going to increase my calcium supplements first. 
    This is no longer a roundabout more like a roller coaster  
  • Pommy8
    Pommy8 Member Posts: 107
    It's a bloody nightmare not one thing it's another .
    I thought bones maybe an issue down the track once on hormone tablets a while but these result pre medication .
  • Julez1958
    Julez1958 Member Posts: 945
    Hi @Pommy8
    AIs ( such as Letrazole) can impact bone density so it is important to have it monitored.
    I had a bone density scan which showed osteopenia at age 63 so saw an endocrinologist who put me on weekly tablets of actonel.
    He also said I should up my calcium intake in my diet ( gave me a list) and also to do weight bearing exercises.
    It is also important to get any major dental work done behind you start any medication to improve bone density as there is a potential nasty complication if you have such work whilst on this medication ( whether it be a tablet or injection).
     Take  care.

  • Deanne
    Deanne Member Posts: 2,162
    I started on letrozole after 2 years on Tamoxifen. I was 49 at the time and had my ovaries removed just prior to starting on Letrozole. I had some osteopenia and in just 6 months or so on Letrozole this deteriorated rapidly to osteoporosis level in lower back. The recommendation was to start on Prolia but I stumbled upon a facility that treated bone density issues with both diet and weight bearing exercise. I saw their dietician who examined my diet in detail. Calcium (through food sources) is important but so are a number of other things, such as getting enough protein to build and maintain muscle (which in turns promotes bone strengthening). 
    I also saw their exercise physiologist who evaluated my ability to commence an exercise program including weight lifting, core strengthening and balance exercises. 
    For me this was preferable to another medication (prolia) with potential side effects. 
    There are choices about how to deal with bone density, and diet and exercise are important, even if on medication as well. I think this is an area of treatment that doctors could improve their knowledge and recommendations on. For some people medication is the best choice but for others maybe they just need a little assistance with diet and exercise choices. We are all individuals and should be given all the information to make the best choice for ourselves. I’m glad that I found the right thing for me but my doctors were not helpful in this unfortunately. 
  • Julez1958
    Julez1958 Member Posts: 945
    Yes I agree that seeing an exercise physiologist was useful.
    I had my radiotherapy at genesis in Darlinghurst and it included a free session with an exercise physiologist at the wellness centre in Kinghorn Centre.
    As a private patient subsequent sessions were charged but I thought well worth it to put me on a Pathway.
  • Suze6
    Suze6 Member Posts: 4
    This is really interesting info. I have a form to get a bone density done but haven’t as yet. Thought I would wait until I finish radiation therapy (should start on Monday but it’s already been put back a couple of times) as a bit of a pain fitting appointments in around work. I am meant to start on anastrozole 1 week after I finish. I had thought of seeing an exercise physiologist and I do plan to once things settle a bit. Good to hear it’s worthwhile. 
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,194
    A bone density test might reveal good news - I discovered when I had my first ever test before starting Letrozole that my bone density was excellent, way better than my age would suggest. It made the prospect of five years (it turned out to be ten!) on Letrozole easier to accept. My bone density has reduced since (partly ageing!) but knowing my bone density ‘bank balance’ was in credit helped a lot at the start and when the duration of medication was extended. Best wishes for yours. 
  • Suze6
    Suze6 Member Posts: 4
    That must have been good to hear. The oncologist only ordered it as I had a “low trauma” serious fracture a few years back. It wasn’t something I had thought about meaning anything at all and only mentioned it as he was asking re history of operations and bla. I am certainly learning a lot while on this BC journey. I feel heaps better about the long term med thing after the pharmacist said even the major side effects only impact 10%. Although I am sure oncologist mentioned one as being fifty something per cent.