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J Cancer Res Ther. 2011 Jul-Sep;7(3):256-63. doi: 10.4103/0973-1482.87006.

Bone health in breast cancer survivors.

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Department of Internal Medicine, King Hussein Cancer Center, Amman, Jordan.


The objective of this paper is to carry out a systemic review of the literature investigating issues related to bone health in survivors of breast cancer. Given the fact that only a fraction of women with breast cancer receive appropriate assessment of their bone health, it is hoped that this review will help raise awareness of bone health concerns in this patient population. Articles published in the English language addressing issues related to bone health in breast cancer were accessed using Pubmed database. Studies were searched using keywords like: "Osteoporosis", "osteopenia", "bone health", "breast cancer", "denosumab" and "bisphosphonates". Current evidence suggests that women who survive their breast cancer are at high risk for significant bone loss. Recent clinical guidelines recommend assessment of bone mineral density (BMD) in high-risk patients. Nonpharmacologic interventions including lifestyle changes, vitamin D and calcium supplements are extremely important. Bisphosphonates, in both oral and parenteral formulations, are increasingly used while new agents, like denosumab, have recently been approved. Due to the widespread use of screening mammography and early detection programs leading to breast cancer diagnosis at a much earlier stage and the recent introduction of more effective anticancer therapy, more women are surviving their breast cancer, which highlights the need for survivorship programs that address issues like bone health. Many recent professional societies are addressing these issues and updating their recommendations and guidelines.

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