Risk of Bone Fracture is High in Breast Cancer Survivors

According to the National Cancer Institute, 207,090 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 in the United States. 39,840 of them died owing to this prevalent cause of death in women.

Depending on the size, site and stage of the cancer tumor, the treatment is determined. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the standard remedies for this disease. If the tumor is diagnosed early, surgery can successfully remove it providing near complete cure in many cases.

Breast Cancer

Unfortunately, it is not so easy to identify the symptoms of breast cancer in its early stage. The signs have the ability to remain asymptomatic (remaining latent without showing any signs).

As a result, the cancer is diagnosed only when it starts spreading to fresh locations of the body. In such a scenario, chemotherapy and radiation therapy are used either individually or together to curb the signs of the ailment.

These treatments in advanced stages of the disease prove to be partially effective in their objective and give rise to several side effects on their application.

In a latest development, researchers from the Oregon Health & Science University Knight Cancer Institute, Portland, have discovered that breast cancer patients who undergo the combinational treatment of chemotherapy and endocrine therapy are at high risk of bone fractures.

The results of the research study will be published in the April 2011 issue of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Knowledge Gained from the Research:

  • 58 percent of breast cancer survivors experienced a fall in 2010, while 47 percent of them fell in the last six months.
  • 59 post-menopausal breast cancer patients who had treatment were the participants of the study.
  • The experts measured a range of neuromuscular and balance factors associated with fall in these participants.
  • The study found that only balance was responsible for causing falls in the survivors of breast cancer.
  • Chemotherapy is found to affect the system in the brain which regulates our balance in such a manner that the survivors are at high risk of experiencing imbalance.
  • According to the lead researchers of the study, further attention needs to be placed on gaining more insight on this under-studied subject.

Conclusion: While breast cancer in women remains one of the serious health concerns for health care professionals, the after-effects of undergoing treatment also seem to pose some challenges for them.

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