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Prostate Cancer: Osteoporosis Due to Hormone Therapy

 

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

Recommended Related to Prostate Cancer

Advanced Prostate Cancer and Side Effects

Many men who have advanced prostate cancer experience side effects. Some of these side effects result from the treatments used to slow the spread of cancer. Other side effects come from the disease itself. Understanding these side effects can relieve fears and help you cope better. So can being an active participant in your own care. Ask your doctor questions. Learn about potential symptoms and options before receiving treatments. Carefully weigh each option with your doctor's input. 

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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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