If you are a cancer survivor, we encourage you to adopt healthy habits and lifestyle to keep your bones strong and avoid osteoporosis to improve your quality of life.
Let's watch the following video.
The video is from the Bone Disease Program of Texas and is available in its entirety at: https://www.mdanderson.org/research/departments-labs-institutes/programs-centers/bone-disease-program-of-texas/about-osteoporosis.html
[This video is from the Bone Disease Program of Texas and it's available at: https://www.mdanderson.org/research/departments-labs-institutes/programs-centers/bone-disease-program-of-texas/about-osteoporosis.html ]
When a patient is diagnosed with cancer, concern about bone loss is usually not the highest priority but as more and more cancer patients live longer lives bone health becomes important to quality of life.
The new mantra for cancer therapy is living with cancer. So in that context, we are beginning to anticipate that our patient population is going to live into their 70s, 80s and even into their 90s with cancer.
Patients can take these steps to protect bones. Make sure your diet is rich in calcium and vitamin D. This include dietary intake or vitamin and mineral supplements. Have a bone density test to determine how much bone you have. Refrain from smoking. Use caffeine, alcohol and salt in moderation. Participate in weight-bearing exercises which make you move against gravity or resistance. Examples of these types of exercises include walking, jogging, stair climbing, bike riding and weight lifting. Also yoga, pilates and even tai chi are helpful in increasing muscle strength which will help prevent falls. And talk with your doctor about medicines you are taking that might weaken bones.
So cancer patients, in the course of their therapy, they are undergoing lots of different changes to their body………. They don’t feel up to the energy levels to walk around as they used to or even eat the same way that they used to so just having lack of physical activity can lose a lot of bone mass and so that is why we encourage weight-based or strengthening exercises. But also if they …our cancer patients cannot take in as much nutrition as they usually would, then they may not get enough calcium, may not get enough vitamin D. And vitamin D is extremely important for the adequate absorption of calcium.
You can present large amounts of calcium to the GI tract but if there is not an adequate amount of vitamin D on board it will not be absorbed. You can actually take one capsule, one large capsule equivalent to 30 or 40,000 units of vitamin D a month
It is important to know that cancer and cancer treatment can cause bone loss that may lead to fractures. Your doctor can detect it early and treat it. During your cancer treatment, you should remember that you can improve your bone health by getting enough calcium, vitamin D and physical activity. Please feel free to discuss with your doctor what can be done to keep your bone strong and healthy throughout your life.