Zometa and calcium supplements


just a quick query. Is it usual to be prescribed calcium supplements with Zometa? I took it when receiving preventative Zometa after primary diagnosis but have now been prescribed it with my most recent infusion subsequent to secondary diagnosis. I was having a wee google just to find out why it was taken with Zometa and found an article that said it shouldn’t be taken as could encourage damaging bone activity, HOWEVER, the article (scientific paper) was published in 2004 so it may no longer be accurate. Just wondering if those on here with bone secondaries are taking adcal along with infusion. I’m sure my onc is on top of things but I’m kinda in between primary and secondary treatments as I await bone biopsy to identify which of my primaries triggered the secondaries. Thanks in advance. 

Hi Mindy

I don’t know the answer to your question, I’m afraid, but I was having 6-monthly zometa and daily Adcal (calcium AND vit D supplement) as part of my adjuvant therapy for primary bc. When I got my secondary TNBC diagnosis (which has not affected my bones, although there’s a question mark over a badly-healed fractured sternum) my oncologist said we could cancel the zometa as it obviously had done its job in protecting my bones, but continue with the Adcal. I think I’d have preferred to continue with zometa as well but he obviously had his scientific reasons I don’t get.

Even better though, he has cancelled my annual (and dreaded) mammograms as I have 3-monthly CT scans. Oh bliss - no more agony, no more dread (and basically for me they were pointless - I had a clear mammogram in 2018 when I had 2 stage 3 tumours and 19/21 infected nodes. Forgive me for not having any faith in the process!)

I wish you all the best with your diagnosis and hope it’s not a TN. That seems to complicate things.

Jan x

Hi Jan, Mindy

I remember my oncologist told me Zolendronic acid

(1) is given to early stage postmenopausal women is to prevent osteoporosis and relapse of breast cancer to bone.

(2) is given to stage IV with bone met is to prevent skeletal related event like pain crisis, hypercalcemia, pathologic fracture, epidural cord compression,

Jan, maybe this explains why you are not offered the drug this time. I am offered as I have bone met.

I asked my oncologist whether I need the supplement vitamin D3 and calcium. She said yes to D3 but no to calcium because of possible hypercalcemia happens in stage IV bone met. 

My oncologist told me to continue with my yearly mammogram (to my healthy breast) as well every 5 years coloscopy (my dad passed away of colon cancer) just in case cancer can be  pre-screen before it appears on the scan.