Would love some insight...

My Mom had a double masectomy about 12 years ago with chemo and some questionable lymph nodes removed. Now, there are “spots” on her ribs and she’s begun Falsodex and Zometa. My concern is, I’ve read a lot about chemo and radiation and she is telling me she only needs to take these two drugs. Unfortunately, I feel like she might not be giving me the entire story. Are these two drugs considered the complete treatment for breast cancer returning to the bones? Thanks for any info you can give me!

Hello Linkybo,

Sorry to hear your mum has mets. You needn’t worry that she isn’t getting the right treatment for her latest diagnosis: Faslodex is a type of hormone therapy and Zometa is a bone strengthener, so it sounds like standard care.

The following link will take you to Macmillan’s info page on Faslodex, though you may need to copy and paste it if the link isn’t “hot”:

http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation/Cancertreatment/Treatmenttypes/Hormonaltherapies/Individualhormonaltherapies/Fulvestrant.

In ER+ secondaries, hormone therapy is usually the first line of attack (with chemo being held back in case it’s needed in the future). These little pills are powerful and can keep the cancer in check for a long time.

Rads are more usually given to resolve pain issues, so if your mum isn’t in any pain, she probably wouldn’t get this at this stage either.

I hope this helps reassure you a bit. Take care and good luck to your mum,

Angelfalls xx

I’m not an onc so I can’t give medical advice but I can tell you about my experience
I have bone mets and am having monthly infusions of zometa.
I have had chemo but that has been for progression of cancer in other areas (mostly liver). The zometa seems to be controlling the bone mets very successfully
I have recently been put on faslodex. I have tried other hormone therapies and they were not successful. I am told that this one sometimes works when other hormone treatments do not. My breast care nurse tells me that if it works then it may well not just keep everything stable (which is what the zometa seems to have done) but can result in tumours shrinking
So I would think that this may well be an initial complete treatment for your mum. I don’t think that they expect to cure secondaries more to make it into a long term chronic, but managable, illness.
However, I have heard that sometimes women with only a very few (ie 1 or 2) bone mets can have curative treatment with cyber knife
Hope this helps
Cheers
Melissa

Hi Linkybo, I have just returned form my own Zometa infusion this afternoon. I am on chemotherapy just now but I have had long periods of time when I did not need chemo and was on a hormone blocking drug similar to your Mum’s drug. I have been having treatment for bone mets for 13 years now. I originally got diagnosed with BC 23 years ago. They cannot cure me but they can keep me going. I am sure your Mum is being well looked after at her hospital. It is good that you have taken the trouble to post on here. Take care, Val