Every four weeks I have to get a shot to rebuild my bones. This is due to the fact my cancer has spread from my lymphatic system and into my bones, known as bone metastasis. The drug I take is called xgeva, also known as denosumab. In this post I will briefly blog about what xgeva does.
Xgeva (denosumab) is a drug often used to treat osteoporosis and hypercalcemia. Recently it has also been used to treat bones which have been weakened by cancer. Since my cancer has spread heavily to my bones I am at risk for bone-related injuries. Actually I probably already broke or fractured a pinky finger last month. My pinky is mostly healed now, although I am still waiting to lose the nail. Hopefully this xgeva shot will help prevent any further bone injuries and reduce the bone pain I am experiencing.
How Xgeva works is pretty cool. There are cells in our body that continuously break down our bones and other cells that continuously rebuild those same bones. The balance between these cells doing their work allows bones to be healthy. Certain conditions such as cancer in the bone marrow throws this whole system out of balance and bones can become too broken down. Xgeva is basically an antibody which interrupts the proteins that break down the bones. The benefit of this is the bones are allowed to be rebuilt and be strengthened.
I had my first xgeva shot on my second round of chemo, which was exactly four weeks ago. Every four weeks I will continue to have xgeva shots. So far I haven’t had any noticeable side-effects from xgena. I believe the pain I feel in my back has been going down, possibly due to my xgena injections. Hopefully this round of xgeva will bring my bone pain down even further.