Many with cancer have their cancers metastasized to the bones. Doctors trying to prevent the cancer from adhering and invading the bones have sought to strengthen the bones. Often bones become weakened using chemotherapy drugs or having radiation used to treat the cancer.
Trying to stop the deterioration of the bones from the cancer and the drugs used to treat it, doctors prescribe bisphosphonates. These drugs are used to harden the bones. Often these are used for osteoporosis, now used for cancer patients.
So what are bisphosphonates?
Bisphosphonates inhibit osteoclasts digesting bone. Bone constantly turns over cells, a balance of cells is accomplished by osteoblasts that create new bone cells and the osteoclasts that digest bone cells. Normally osteoclasts undergo apoptosis, the normal dying off or cell suicide. When bone loss is greater than bone growth bisphosphonates encourages apoptosis of those out of control osteoclasts.
You are taking bisphosphonates if you are taking one of these drugs: Fosamax, Reclast, Zometa, Boniva, Aredia – there may be others. If you don’t know ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Before the use of bisphosphonates in medicine, they were used to soften water in the irrigation of orange groves. It was discovered they prevented the dissolution of hydroylapatite , that is one of the principle bone minerals, thus inhibiting bone loss. The problem is that after years of use the bones become weaker and fractures occurred. Other side effects noted were, femur fractures, esophageal cancer, osteonecrosis of the jaw [a condition causing painful crumbling of the jaw bone]. Other side effects, inflammation of the stomach, pain in the joints, nausea, and esophageal inflammation, to name a few.
But to build bone loss you don’t have to use bisphosphonates. Strontium, in the form of strontium citrate, taken orally daily using 680 milligrams has been known to reduce the risk of fracture. The same study noted an 11.4 percent increase in bone density using strontium.
For bones to be strong yet flexible you need proteins. Bones are rich in proteins, which as we age or when we are exposed to drugs or chemicals, like radiation or chemotherapy our bones lose proteins, we add calcium but like a piece of chalk, our bones can break because they are brittle. For good protein absorption in the bones, fats are needed. Perhaps that good glass of raw milk wasn’t such a bad idea after all, lots of calcium, fats and protein. The best source of proteins can be found in protein rich herbs. A simple, yet effective herbal infusion can be made using an ounce of oatstraw or nettle, or red clover or comfrey in a mason jar, to which boiling water is poured over and let steep covered overnight. Consumed within the next day, your bones will begin to be nourished naturally as intended. A good oil such a krill or yogurt, cheeses and raw milk [non homogenized milk is best] will assist the proteins in absorbing.
Since bone also needs calcium and Vitamin D; it is prudent to add Calcium and D3 with K [K helps D3 absorb] to your daily bone building regiment.