MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Painful hip fractures strike breast cancer survivors

Back to breast cancer blog Blogs list Cancer blog  


Subscribe To Breast Cancer Blog RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Painful hip fractures strike breast cancer survivors




A hip fracture is not common in a 54-year-old woman, unless she is a 54-year-old breast cancer survivor, as per a new Northwestern Medicine study. Scientists observed that a combination of early menopause due to breast cancer therapy and common drugs used to treat breast cancer, could be weakening the bones of breast cancer survivors once they hit middle age, leading to hip fractures.

Results of the study are reported in the February 2011 issue of Clinical Cancer Research
Hip fractures are rare in people under 70. Yet, Northwestern Medicine doctor Beatrice Edwards, M.D., observed that several breast cancer survivors in their early 50s were coming to her for therapy of hip fractures.



Painful hip fractures strike breast cancer survivors

Edwards is director of the Bone Health and Osteoporosis program and associate professor of medicine and of orthopaedic surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She also is a doctor at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

Scientists studied six of these women over one year and assessed the type of breast cancer they had, the therapy they underwent and a hip fracture's effect on quality of life, said Edwards, main author of the study.

"One year after the fracture the women still reported difficulty with climbing stairs, shopping and heavy housekeeping," Edwards said. "Their health care costs may increase and their fractures contribute to losing some independence".

Edwards was surprised to find that the majority of the women did not have osteoporosis, but did have lower than normal bone mineral density (osteopenia). This suggests that rapid change in bone architecture from chemotherapy, early menopause and adjuvant treatment may not be evident on bone mineral density test, Edwards said.

The women had early-stage breast cancer and received therapy including lumpectomy, radiation treatment and chemotherapy with cytoxan and adriamycin one to four years before the fracture occurred. They were all perimenopausal at the time of the fracture.

Four of the six women had breast cancer that grew in response to estrogen and received aromatase inhibitors (AIs) as part of their cancer treatment to block their bodies from making estrogen. Recent studies have linked AIs with possible bone loss in women.

Edwards' team also evaluated reports from the FDA's adverse event reporting system and other databases and observed that AIs were the most common drug class linked to hip fractures.

"Eventhough the majority of women with breast cancer can expect to be fully cured from the disease, the prevention of cancer therapy-induced bone loss is important to consider in cancer survival," Edwards said. "More research needs to be done before therapy guidelines are changed, but greater awareness of the adverse effects of certain breast cancer drugs is needed".

Edwards said the next step is for scientists to conduct a clinical trial and give bone density screenings to women before they enter breast cancer chemotherapy. High-risk patients would be flagged and given preventive bone loss treatment and monitored for premature hip fractures.

"The pain and suffering and hospital stays and higher health costs linked to these hip fractures might be prevented through early intervention," Edwards said.


Posted by: Janet    Source




Did you know?
A hip fracture is not common in a 54-year-old woman, unless she is a 54-year-old breast cancer survivor, as per a new Northwestern Medicine study. Scientists observed that a combination of early menopause due to breast cancer therapy and common drugs used to treat breast cancer, could be weakening the bones of breast cancer survivors once they hit middle age, leading to hip fractures.

Medicineworld.org: Painful hip fractures strike breast cancer survivors

BREAST CANCER MAIN| Home| Breast cancer news| Common terms| Breast cancer treatment| Breast cancer treatment by stage| Mammogram and breast cancer screening| Surgical treatment of breast cancer| Chemotherapy of breast cancer| Chemo drugs used in breast cancer| Doxorubicin| Cyclophosphamide| Methotrexate| Hormonal therapy of breast cancer| Radiation therapy of breast cancer| Monoclonal therapy| High dose chemotherapy for breast cancer| Recurrent breast cancer| Bisphosphonates and breast cancer| Pregnancy and breast cancer| Risk factors for breast cancer| Risk details| My risk| Comprehensive breast cancer information| Breast cancer statistics| African Americans and breast cancer| Ashkenazi and breast cancer| Asians| Hispanic| Men| Native Americans| Older women and breast cancer| Younger women| Pregnant women and breast cancer| BRCA|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.