When people say that breast cancer that has spread to the bones feeds off of calcium- does that mean that the calcium helps the breast cancer to grow? Or does it just break down the bone? My doctor told me I could continue to take my calcium supplement, even though I am on Zometa, because that little bit of calcium is not going to be too much and that I would probably need it, as I am also getting Zoladex shots, which she said will deplete my calcium eventually. But, if the calcium helps the cancer to grow, I am afraid to take it. Is this the case? Does calcium actually promote cancer growth?
Dear Chellesk: Calcium does not promote cancer growth. The concern around calcium has to do with bone damage. Simplified, as the cancer destroys bone, calcium is released into the bloodstream. The more bone damage, the higher the calcium may rise. Our blood normally has calcium in it. The problem is that too much calcium in our blood can be harmful. Symptoms of too much calcium (hypercalcemia) can include some of the following, frequent urination, excessive thirst, dehydration, fatigue and profound muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, itching, and confusion. The diagnosis is made by drawing a blood calcium level. This is a treatable condition but it can be quite serious. So, in people with a lot of bone damage, taking extra calcium may not be recommended. However, if your calcium levels are normal and you are on medication that depletes calcium, then a supplement may be just fine as your doctor suggested. Periodically, he is probably already checking your calcium levels, among other things.
Copyright 1994-2018MedHelp.All rights reserved. MedHelp is a division of Vitals Consumer Services, LLC.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. MedHelp is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.