Breast cancer may up risk for osteoporosis

May 18, 2005 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Women's Health

Breast cancer may up risk for osteoporosis
Canadian researchers at the University of Alberta have found that postmenopausal women who have survived early breast cancer face a higher than average risk of osteoporosis.

Researchers reviewed medical studies considering the bone health of postmenopausal breast cancer patients.

Two large medical trials that evaluated the use of tamoxifen for breast cancer prevention found that it was not associated with an increase of fractures. However, these recent findings were especially true for women who received chemotherapy or were treated with specific drugs called aromatase inhibitors � including anastrozole, letrozole and exemestane, all of which have been associated with changes in bone mineral density.

Specifically, anastrozole treatment was associated with a 60 percent higher fracture risk than tamoxifen treatment.

While further interactions between bone density and cancer treatments are investigated, researchers recommend all postmenopausal women be monitored for osteoporosis.

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