HealthDay News — The risk for bone loss rises sharply in young breast cancer patients who received standard treatment, according to a study recently published in Breast Cancer Research.

Cody Ramin, Ph.D., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues prospectively examined bone loss in 211 breast cancer survivors (mean age at breast cancer diagnosis, 47 years) and 567 cancer-free women in the same cohort with familial risk for breast cancer.

During a mean follow-up of 5.8 years, 66 percent of breast cancer survivors and 53 percent of cancer-free women reported having a bone density examination. 

The researchers identified 112 incident cases of osteopenia and/or osteoporosis. Compared with cancer-free women, breast cancer survivors had a higher risk for osteopenia and osteoporosis (hazard ratio, 1.68). Among recent survivors, after only two years of follow-up, the association was stronger (hazard ratio, 2.74). Additionally, compared with cancer-free women, the risk for osteopenia and osteoporosis was higher among survivors aged ≤50 years, those who had estrogen receptor-positive tumors, and those who were treated with aromatase inhibitors alone or chemotherapy plus any hormone therapy.

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“Studies are needed to determine effective approaches to minimize bone loss in this population,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text