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How Are Breast Cancer And Prevention Of Osteoporosis Related?

Breast cancer and prevention of osteoporosis can be addressed inexpensively with vitamins and minerals. Why is this important?

Women who have had breast cancer may have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis as a result of chemotherapy.

A breast tumor itself can increase the bone-dissolving activity of the osteoclasts and cause an increase in the risk of osteoporosis.

Chemotherapy drugs such as doxorubicin and methotrexate can prevent bone formation and cause a loss of bone density.

Some chemotherapy agents can also cause early menopause. Women who go through menopause earlier than usual (around age 50) begin losing bone earlier and can develop osteoporosis at a younger age.

Some chemotherapy used to treat breast cancer can cause the ovaries to stop making estrogen, bringing on early menopause.

The removal or irradiation of ovaries (used to slow breast cancer) can cause early menopause as well as rapid bone loss due to the sudden lowering of estrogen levels.

Breast Cancer And Hormone Treatment

Hormonal therapies are sometimes used to prevent estrogen and progesterone from speeding up tumor growth. These include:

  • Inactivation of the ovaries through radiation or removal by surgery can immediately bring about menopause and bone loss.
  • Tamoxifen has been shown to decrease bone density in women who have not gone through menopause. However, women in menopause may experience an increase in bone density.
  • Aromatase inhibitors (such as anastrozole, letrozole, or fulvestrant) are a new type of hormonal therapy used to treat women in menopause. A growing number of studies suggest that these drugs result in a loss of bone density.

Breast Cancer And Vitamin D

Studies have shown that women with low levels of vitamin D have a 222% increased risk for developing breast cancer. But increased sun exposure and vitamin D supplements can reduce deaths resulting from the disease.

Blood levels of vitamin D at the time of the breast cancer diagnosis have been strong indicators of a woman's survival from the disease. The cancer is much more aggressive in those with low blood levels of vitamin D.

Those who are vitamin D deficient are 94% more likely to have the cancer metastasize and 73% more likely to die within 10 years of diagnosis.