The risk of bone loss resulting from breast and prostate cancer treatment has been highlighted by researchers in Canada. They reviewed 90 articles reporting on 80 studies (37 randomised controlled trials and 43 observational studies). Several therapies commonly used to treat breast and prostate cancer, in particular, aromatase inhibitors and androgen deprivation therapy, were associated with significant bone loss and increased fracture risk. Bisphosphonates seemed to attenuate bone loss, although the researchers say that the long-term impact is unclear because of insufficient follow-up. They add that patients should be educated about the risk of bone loss and lifestyle measures that can help to avoid it.

Saad F, Adachi JD, Brown JP et al. J Clin Oncol 2008;doi:10.1200/JCO.2008.18.4184

Originally published in the November 2008 edition of MIMS Oncology & Palliative Care.

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