Reducing risk of metastases?

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Question from Anders: Do you recommend taking drugs such as Fosamax to reduce the risk of bone and liver mets for ER-negative cancer?
Answers - Kathy D. Miller, M.D. The short and truthful answer to this question right now is that we don't know. There have been three small studies looking at whether adding a medicine like Fosamax to chemotherapy and other breast cancer treatments decreases the risk of recurrence. None of those studies used Fosamax itself. They used a drug called clodronate that is similar to Fosamax.

One of those three studies found no difference in recurrence, one found a decrease in the risk of recurrence in bone mets only, and one found an increase in the risk of recurrence. A much larger study to really answer this question has been completed, but we don't yet have the results. So at this point, I couldn't recommend taking Fosamax or a medicine like it to reduce the risk of recurrence, but it is important to realize the risk of osteoporosis, especially in women who have been treated for breast cancer and may have become menopausal earlier than nature intended. For women with bone loss or early osteoporosis, Fosamax remains a very good option.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Hormone-Receptor-Negative Breast Cancer featured Kathy D. Miller, M.D., Marisa Weiss, M.D., and moderator Jennifer Armstrong, M.D. answering your questions about a wide range of issues related to hormone-receptor-negative breast cancer.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in November 2005.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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