Fractured ribs

Hi everyone,
It's been awhile since I've posted anything. I have a couple of questions. Has anyone experienced fractured ribs in the late stages? Multi fractures showed up on the last PET scan on the left rib cage the same side that has the tumor in the lung that has the cavity within. Last night, he was in alot of pain on the right side and he is saying it feels like a fractured rib now on the right side. He has been through 4 chemo regimens and I am wondering if this has weakened his ribs. He has not had any radiation. It worries me now that his ribs seem to be fracturing so easily.

My 2nd question is if this is just part of the end stages? I guess I'm concerned where this will lead. He has no recollection of what he is doing to cause the fractures. No bone mets have been discovered.

Rosemary

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hey, Rosemary,
you need to get with your oncologist. if there are mets in the bones, fractures can occur easily (particularly the ribs). there are bone strengtheners that can be used to harden up the bones and make them more fracture resistant. (the way my dad's onc talked, it was kinda like Boniva that you see on tv but more powerful - and it also hurts a bit while it's working - sorry but I can't remember it's name).

on the end stage question - this cancer thing is like taking a trip on a country road - sometimes, the road is smooth - and sometimes you encounter a skunk on the road.... don't give the skunk more power than it deserves! (just remember, the problem could still be something small and stupid, like I hope it is...)

pick up the phone and talk with your oncology nurses - and ask them if this pain is normal. that will be your fastest way to get in to see the doc. he will probably get scanned so a more complete diagnosis can be made - and a course of action set. if it is a broken bone (or bones), ask what the different things that can be done. if it is a met to the bone, ask what your options are there also.

take care of yourself and your best fella!!!
prayers and hugs,
Pat

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Hi Rosemary,

Pat may be referring to Zometa, which is a drug that is used intravenously to improve bone strength. Aredia is another similar treatment. Make sure he is getting enough calcium and vitamin D too. Calcium from daily, dark leafy greens, and beans, or supplement too. Vit. D from fortified milk and cereal, fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, mackerel or swordfish, and also a little bit of sun exposure will help! You can consider supplements of vit. D as well.

Best wishes,

Amy

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A big thank you to both - I had not thought about medication for the bones and am shocked our Onc had not thought of it either. It just goes to show the true help we can be to each other.

Rosemary

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I'm not sure what the differences are, or why you would choose one over the other, but my dad is on Aredia for bone density/strength. He was on it when he was on carboplatin/taxol/avastin and when he was on an avastin and tarceva/placebo trial. Looks like he might be starting on a new trial with Alimta, and they say he can and should still be on the Aredia. So I guess it's a good option in conjunction with various other treatments. Hope that helps!

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Thank you. I took him to the Onc today and they took another chest x-ray. He has also sent a request in to our insurance company to begin Zometa.

The other thing that makes me really sad is that the nurse told me that the cancer may be in his ribs. From the very beginning we knew the entire pleura was malignant. But, this is the first time I have been told that it is probably in his ribs also, and the reason for the fractures.

He is now 23 months into this disease and stage IV from the beginning. The pain is really bad for him and I feel so helpless.

Rosemary

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apparently rib fractures are not uncommon. I have Stage IV nsclc and went through radiation and chemo at the same time. Now a new PET shows a rib fracture that my ONC says is a near normal for someone at this stage.

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hey, Rosemary,
Bless his little heart (and ribs). My daddy's oncologist had a word of wisdom that might speak to you - that chemo isn't too bright - it is supposed to go after cancer cells in the lungs, but if it finds it somewhere else, it works on it there too!!! Isn't that just magnificent!!!! So, your chemo is working on the ribs also. Let me rephrase - ain't that just cool?!

I am so glad your onc is on board to get him some bone strengtheners and hope the insurance people come to the party.

I'm sending big old hugs to you both!
Pat

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