Note osteoporosis after breast cancer treatment
1. The link between breast cancer and osteoporosis
With the advancement of medicine today, the rate of longevity in breast cancer patients is increasing. Therefore, protecting bone health and preventing osteoporosis is a matter of concern
After menopause, women have less estrogen in their bodies and that can cause osteoporosis. If breast cancer treatment causes you to experience early menopause and increases your risk of osteoporosis/fractures at a younger age.
Factors that lead to osteoporosis include:
Thinness or small frame. Family history of the disease. Menopause and especially early menopause. Missing menstruation. Prolonged use of certain medications such as those used to treat lupus, asthma, thyroid deficiency, and seizures. Low calcium. Lack of physical activity. Smoke. Excessive drinking.
Osteoporosis is usually preventable. It is called a silent disease because, if undetected, osteoporosis can progress for years without symptoms until a fracture occurs. Osteoporosis is also known as a childhood disease, with old age consequences because building healthy bones at a young age helps prevent osteoporosis and fractures later in life.
Women who have been treated for breast cancer may have an increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Estrogen has a protective effect on bones and reduces the level of osteoporotic hormone activation. Now, with the advancement of science, breast cancer patients will be able to prolong life through surgery and the use of drugs.
Due to medication or surgery, many breast cancer survivors experience a loss of ovarian function and, therefore, a decrease in estrogen levels. Premenopausal women before cancer treatment may experience menopause earlier than those without breast cancer.
2. Breast cancer treatments reduce the risk of osteoporosis
Drug oophorectomy or surgical removal of the ovaries .
Manage osteoporosis/fractures with a DEXA (bone X-ray scan) scan that measures the patient's bone density. If a patient has a family history of osteoporosis or is having any treatment that causes a fracture, talk to their doctor about a DEXA scan to get a baseline measurement of bone density. If it is lower than normal or falls during treatment, there are medicines called bisphosphonates you can take to strengthen your bones. Three different types of bisphosphonates are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent and treat osteoporosis: Fosamax (chemical name: alendronate sodium); Actonel (chemical name: risedronate); Boniva (chemical name: ibandronate)
Of these, Fosamax and Actonel are available as daily or weekly doses. Boniva can be taken once a month or injected every 3 months. Along with that, the doctor will base on the patient's medical condition as well as the patient's physical condition to decide which one of these drugs is right for the patient.
In addition, patients need to make lifestyle changes to keep their bones as strong as possible:
Diet: Diet plays a role in reducing breast cancer risk and bone health. For bone health, a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is important. Good sources of calcium come from low-fat dairy products; dark green, leafy green vegetables and calcium-fortified foods and beverages. Supplements can help ensure calcium needs are met each day, especially in people with a milk allergy. The Institute of Medicine recommends a daily calcium intake of 1,000 mg (milligrams) for men and women up to age 50. Women over 50 and men over 70 should increase their intake to 1,200 mg per day. Food sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, saltwater fish, and liver. Exercise regularly: Exercise makes bones and muscles stronger and helps slow the process of osteoporosis. The best activities for your bones are strength and resistance exercises. Weight-bearing exercises force the body to work against gravity. Physical activities that can be done include walking, climbing stairs, and dancing. Resistance exercises - such as lifting weights - can also help strengthen bones. Exercise for weight loss 3-4 times a week for maximum benefits for bone health Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Smoking The drug is harmful to the bones as well as the heart and lungs. Women who smoke tend to experience menopause earlier, leading to an earlier drop in bone-sparing hormone levels and causing fractures. In addition, smokers may absorb less calcium from their diet. Some studies have found a slightly higher risk of breast cancer in women who drink alcohol, and evidence suggests that alcohol can have a negative impact on bone health. Bone density test: A bone mineral density (BMD) test measures bone density in different parts of the body. This extremely safe and painless BMD test can detect osteoporosis before a fracture occurs and predict a person's likelihood of future fracture. A woman recovering from breast cancer should consult her doctor about getting a bone density test. Use of medication: In fact, there is no absolute cure for osteoporosis. However, several drugs are available to prevent and treat osteoporosis, such as Bisphosphonates, a class of drugs that treat osteoporosis, which have beneficial health effects in some women with breast cancer. Another osteoporosis drug, raloxifene, reduces the risk of breast cancer. Raloxifene - a drug known to be selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs).
>>> Advice from MSc Le Duong Tien - Internal Medicine and Rheumatology, Department of Medical Examination & Internal Medicine, Vinmec Danang International General Hospital:
After menopause, women have less estrogen in their muscles body and that can cause osteoporosis. If breast cancer treatment causes you to experience early menopause and increases your risk of osteoporosis/fractures at a younger age. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor the status of osteoporosis as soon as possible, especially starting chemotherapy and radiation therapy for breast cancer, to avoid spontaneous fractures of this high-risk group of patients.
Vinmec Hospital has a team of experienced musculoskeletal doctors and the world's most modern machinery system, with superior customer care, so Vinmec is the most reasonable choice today.
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