Bone Health

Children undergoing certain cancer treatments experience bone loss and osteoporosis. This loss is a concerning issue because as the child grows the bones tend to grow stronger and heavier during their transformation into adulthood. That is not the case for these children. 

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is quite a common condition of bone illness. Osteoporosis happens when the body breaks down more brain tissues than it can replace thus making the bones weak and fragile. This fragility can make the bones unsubstantial, expanding the risks of breaks.

What causes bone loss:

When a person grows older, the body functionality gradually reduces. In this situation, they are less fit for supplanting the necessary cells for the fixing and reconstructing of the bone tissue. This makes the bones become meager and they begin creating openings. Coming up next are different elements that add to the deficiency of bone mass.

  • Bone cancer (cancer type that has its origin in the bone)
  • Tumors that are spread deep down like bosom disease, prostate cancer, cellular breakdown in the lungs, and various myeloma. 
  • Certain types of chemotherapy
  • Women. Being a woman increases the chances of developing osteoporosis due to hormonal changes. The bringing down of estrogen levels in the body puts ladies at high risk of creating osteoporosis. This Occur chemical is particularly expected as it keeps up with bone thickness. Being exposed to going through specific cancer medicines can make menopause occur at a prior age than anticipated.
  • Going through chemical treatment for bosom and prostate disease.

The primary focus of these treatments is to decrease the loss of bone mass caused due to the lowering amounts of hormones. 

  • Drinking too much alcohol and smoking too much
  • Having a history of osteoporosis in the family. 
  • Taking prescriptions like prednisone for steroid treatment, engineered thyroid chemical treatment, and medications for heartburn.Inactivity and long-term bed rest.
  • Not intaking proper nutrition. Insufficient amounts of calcium and Vitamin D
  • Race and ethnic foundation. It has been noticed that individuals who are white or Asian are at high risk of creating osteoporosis.

Fractures caused due to bone loss:

Breaks in the bone and fractures can cause agony and development issues. This can affect the person’s life and everyday activities. Individuals who have a bone disease that is to the bones are exceptionally defenseless against encountering such kinds of breaks.

Osteoporosis can also be caused due to the following factors. 

  • Older age
  • EInordinate liquor use
  • Having portability issues
  • A low degree of testosterone, or hypogonadism
  • Your folks have a background marked by hip fractures
  • Smoking
  • A background marked by fractures as a grown-up
  • Being postmenopausal
  • Low body weight
  • Being in danger of falls
  • Long-term utilization of steroid drugs called glucocorticoids

If you have a high risk of fractures, talk to your healthcare professional on what are the steps that must be taken to lower the risk of fractures.

What are the signs and symptoms of bone loss:

Bone loss is not a condition that happens suddenly. It can be quite difficult to find out that you might be having this condition. The pain occurs only after the condition has become quite severe, once the pain sets in, it can be difficult to perform certain functions. The most common mistake that most people make is misinterpreting the signs of severe bone problems to that of arthritis. If you experience severe pain related to the bones, you need to talk to your doctor. Look out for the following symptoms. 

  • Uncommon deficiency of height after some time
  • Excruciating joints or firmness
  • Back pain is frequently brought about by pressure fractures or imploded vertebra
  • A stooped posture or bent upper back
  • Breaking a bone surprisingly effectively, like after a minor injury

It is vital to alleviate the incidental effects and the side effects as it is an inescapable piece of cancer care and treatment. These are likewise known by the name palliative consideration or supportive care.

How to diagnose bone loss?

A bone density scan is a most usually stepped-through examination to quantify bone mass. This is otherwise called a DEXA(dual-energy X-beam absorptiometry) examination. This test might be taken before, after, or during cancer treatment. 

Data, for example, the strength of the bone still up in the air by taking a gander at how much calcium it contains. The scans mostly focus on the hop and the lower spinal region of the patient. 

With the proportion of the calcium sums in the bone and the bone mineral thickness, your PCP might analyze it as osteoporosis or osteopenia. Osteopenia is a gentle bone misfortune condition. Osteopenia is a mild bone loss condition. 

Bone loss treatment and management:

Most usually, the treatment for bone loss includes the utilization of bone-changing prescriptions. These medications work to dial back the pace of bone diminishing. In the event that the prescription works effectively in certain patients, as well as decreasing new bone harm it additionally advances mending.  Most commonly it is administered for patients who have severe bone pain due to metastatic cancer. The drugs that are used for bone-modifying are, 

  • Bisphosphonates, that work to obstruct the cells that annihilate the bone called osteoclasts
  • Prolia and Xgeva are also known as denosumab belonging to those known as RANK ligand inhibitors. 
  • Before the commencement of the bone-strengthening treatment starts, your doctor will recommend that you go visit a dentist. 
  • Assuming you need to go through any dental methodology, you want to tell your dental specialist ahead of time that you are going through bone adjusting treatment.
  • Corresponding to bone-changing medications is a state of the jaw called osteonecrosis. Though uncommon it is quite a serious condition. The side effects of this condition incorporate expansion, pain, disease of the jaw, free teeth, and uncovered bone.

Bone loss conditions are managed by

  • Calcium and Vitamin D enhancements:
  • Taking the perfect proportion of calcium and vitamin D enhancements. They must be taken exactly as per the recommendation of your doctor. 
  •  On the off chance that you are taking some other nutrient or mineral enhancement, converse with your primary care physician and find out if it fits your condition to take them.


Doing physical exercises that put stress on your bones is recommended and some of them include walking, stair climbing, dancing, and tai chi. Doing these exercises triggers the body to produce more cells than bones. Performing weight-bearing activities assist with working on your equilibrium and fabricating solid bones. Based on your medical condition, your doctor will draft you an exercise plan based on your fitness level and physical abilities.

Healthy weight:

Eating a sound and adjusted diet is exceptionally pivotal and is significant for a singular’s bone wellbeing. Being underweight can expand the possibilities of you creating bone misfortune and breaks.

Preventing falls: 

One of the primary drivers of expanded breaks in individuals having osteoporosis is because of increased falls. Various factors cause falls and  a few of them are mentioned below, 

  • A jumbled living space
  • Unfortunate vision
  • Sluggishness connected with pain medication
  • Mental hindrance
  • Shoes that don’t fit well
  • Poor concentration

To prevent the risk of accidental falls various exercises can be done to improve your balance. Before you start to do any exercises, talk to your doctor about the program that is right for you.

More information about osteoporosis:

Cancer treatments most often reduce bone mass and reduce the quality of the bones. This increases the risk of osteoporosis in later life. The following are a portion of the means for youth cancer survivors to forestall bone loss and strength.

The following are the cancer treatment that causes bone loss:

  • Methotrexate
  • Radiation to the legs, hips, and spine(weight-bearing bones)
  • Taking corticosteroids like prednisone and dexamethasone

Conditions most likely to lead to bone loss are

  • Deficiency of growth hormones
  • Increment levels of thyroid hormones
  • Low degrees of male or female hormones
  • Prolonged therapy with the usage of corticosteroids for chronic graft-versus-host disease
  • A significant stretch of inertia (bed rest)

Various other medical treatments can also cause bone loss and some of them are, 

  • Certain anticonvulsant prescriptions (like phenytoin sodium and barbiturates)
  • Acid neutralizers with aluminum (like Maalox® or Amphogel®)
  • Drugs for the treatment of early adolescence and endometriosis (like Lupron Depot®)
  • High doses of heparin (used to forestall blood clumps), particularly with delayed use
  • Cholestyramine (used to lessen blood cholesterol)

Other risk factors

Risk factors where nothing can be done to help reduce them, 

  • Ladies of Caucasian and Asian race (particularly after menopause)
  • More seasoned age. Risk increments with age.
  • Little and slender body size
  • Family background of osteoporosis

Risk factors that can change for the benefit of cure:

  • Low degrees of sex hormones. Estrogen in ladies and testosterone in men assume a part in keeping areas of strength for bones after development is finished.
  • Smoking
  • An eating regimen low in calcium
  • Absence of Vitamin D. It is expected to retain minerals like calcium and phosphorus in bone.
  • Absence of weight-bearing activity
  • A lot of caffeine, liquor, or pop
  • An eating routine high in salt

Bone loss issues that happen because of cancer treatment:

When the bones become weak, they automatically replace the weekend bones with new tissues but when they are unable to do so they become thinner and fragile thus making them easily breakable. 

Osteoporosis can occur in more than one bone and most regularly it influences the hips, wrists, spine, and leg bones. Osteoporosis now and again is additionally called ‘ low bone mineral thickness.

The bone mass usually begins to strengthen and peak during their 20s and after that people start losing the initial bone mass. The case is even more severe in patients undergoing cancer treatments. 

What are the signs and symptoms of osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is also sometimes known as the silent disease, it is called so for the most obvious reason, and the symptoms are exhibited only when the conditions become severe. Some signs and symptoms of osteoporosis include, 

  • Loss of height 
  • Bone fractures even when a minor injury happens.
  • A stooped posture

How should survivors take care of their bone health?

Before undergoing cancer treatments, talk to your healthcare specialist and ask about the risk associated with the treatment. Constant monitoring of your health is also important.

 Childhood cancer survivors ought to obligatorily go in for yearly tests. A duplicate of your survivorship plan that incorporates the subtleties of your cancer treatment and medical conditions that could have happened over the span of the therapy ought to be indicated extravagantly.

What are the screenings recommended for bone density?

Patients who are at high risk will be likely prescribed to do a baseline bone thickness examination. Once this begins the treatment goes on for long-term follow-up care. 

Most generally, double X-beam absorptiometry is the test that is suggested. It is additionally also called the DXA. in this test, exceptional X-beam procedures are utilized to gauge one’s bone thickness. This is to comprehend the dangers of a patient’s bone being broken.

In view of the outcomes, your medical care expert might give you counsel on ways of working on your bone strength and when you really want to happen for a follow-up.


The risk of osteoporosis can be greatly reduced by 

Partaking in practices that require standard weight-bearing and obstruction. Doing these kinds of exercises comes down on the bones and constructs their perseverance. Some examples include, 

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Tennis
  • Climbing stairs
  • Light weightlifting
  • Jumping rope
  • Hiking
  • Dancing
  • Do not smoke and drink alcohol in excess
  • Make sure your diet has a sufficient amount of calcium and vitamin D

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