Hip fractures linked to breast cancer treatment

8 February 2011

Researchers in the US believe they have uncovered a link between prior breast cancer treatment and a woman's hip fracture risk.

According to scientists from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, hip fractures are relatively uncommon in younger women, but a combination of early menopause and breast cancer treatment can weaken the bones of breast cancer survivors once they reach middle age.

This, in turn, can increase the incidence of hip fractures in the age group.

Published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, the study, led by director of the uni's Bone Health and Osteoporosis programme Beatrice Edwards, showed that early intervention following cancer diagnosis could reduce the number of middle-aged women in need of hip fracture treatment.

"More research needs to be done before treatment guidelines are changed, but greater awareness of the adverse effects of certain breast cancer drugs is needed," she claimed.

Bone loss usually begins between the ages of 30 and 35 and tends to accelerate as people age.

1 Edwards, Beatrice et al. "Cancer Therapy Associated Bone Loss: Implications for Hip Fractures in Mid-Life Women with Breast Cancer". Clinical Cancer Research. Tuesday, February 1st 2011.

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