Boost Your Bone Health

Cancer survivors and those in treatment are often at an increased risk of developing osteopenia (mild bone degeneration) or osteoporosis (severe bone loss) as a result of treatment.
 
Radiation and chemotherapy drugs can cause bones to weaken, increasing the risk of osteoporosis.
 
Certain breast cancer treatments block estrogen formation, which acts as a protective barrier for bones, and can lead to early menopause and increased risk of developing osteopenia or osteoporosis. Hormone therapy for testosterone suppression in prostate cancer patients has a similar effect on bones.
 
At City of Hope, we take bone density (DEXA) scans to assess bone strength as a baseline prior to starting therapy, and repeat the scans every one to two years. Additionally, we test vitamin D levels annually to assess bone health.
 
Proper nutrition and physical activity can help protect your bones, including increasing your calcium and vitamin D intake, and eating a Mediterranean diet rich in grains, beans, nuts, vegetables and fruits.