Cancer can affect the bones. Cancer from other parts of the body can spread to the bones, or cancer can start in the bones (such as with multiple myeloma). Either way, cancer can wear away the bone, leading to pain, broken bones, and the need for bone surgery or radiation. If the spinal bones are affected, this can lead to pressure on the spine, causing pain, unusual sensations, loss of bowel or bladder control, or even paralysis.
Aredia can help prevent or delay bone damage due to breast cancer that has spread to the bone. It can also help to prevent or delay bone damage due to multiple myeloma, a cancer that affects plasma cells in the bone marrow. It is important to understand that Aredia is not a chemotherapy medication; it should always be used along with appropriate cancer treatment.
High blood calcium is a common complication of cancer. This is known medically as hypercalcemia of malignancy. Calcium is a very important mineral and is important for muscle and heart function. High blood calcium can cause the following symptoms:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle pain or weakness
- Increased urination
- Changes in the heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
Hypercalcemia of malignancy can occur due to various causes, one of which is bone breakdown. Aredia is approved to treat hypercalcemia of malignancy, and should be used after vigorous rehydration. This typically requires the administration of IV fluids.