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Prostate Cancer: Osteoporosis Due to Hormone Therapy

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Bone thinning, or osteoporosis, is a side effect of hormone therapy used to treat some prostate cancers.

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Not all men develop osteoporosis as a result of hormone (also called androgen deprivation) therapy. But bone mineral density screenings may be a good idea during hormonal treatments.

A type of X-ray, bone mineral density screenings are a safe and noninvasive way to diagnose osteoporosis, detect low bone density, monitor the effectiveness of treatments, and predict the risk for future fractures.

How Do I Prevent Osteoporosis If I'm Taking Hormones for Prostate Cancer?

 

Some approaches that may help to slow or prevent osteoporosis include:

  • Taking calcium and vitamin D. The recommended daily intake of calcium is 1,200 mg to 1,500 mg, and 400 to 800 IU of vitamin D.
  • Exercising. Regular physical activity, especially weight-bearing exercises such as jogging, dancing and stair-climbing, can help prevent bone loss. Resistance exercises, such as weight lifting, have been shown to strengthen bones.
  • Use of bisphosphonates. Bisphosphonates usually taken by intravenous infusion (but sometimes by mouth) can stop or even reverse osteoporosis due to hormonal therapy for advanced prostate cancer.

  • Not using tobacco.
  • Limiting alcohol intake.

Men should talk to their health care providers about other approaches.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Jay B. Zatzkin, MD, FACP on August 03, 2013

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