Nonsurgical treatment options, such as hormonal therapy, chemotherapy, radiation, and bisphosphonate therapy, are undoubtedly improving outcomes for women with breast cancer; however, these therapies also carry significant skeletal side effects. For example, adjuvant hormonal treatments, such as aromatase inhibitors that disrupt the estrogen-skeleton axis, have the potential to cause decreased bone mineral density. Similarly, chemotherapy often induces primary ovarian failure in premenopausal women, resulting in decreased levels of circulating estrogen and subsequent osteopenia. In both cases, women receiving these therapies are at an increased risk for the development of osteoporosis and skeletal fracture. Furthermore, women undergoing radiation therapy to the upper body may have an increased incidence of rib fracture, and those receiving bisphosphonates may be vulnerable to the development of osteonecrosis of the jaw. Therefore, women with breast cancer who are undergoing any of these therapies should be closely monitored for bone mineral loss and advised of skeletal health maintenance strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6309s-6314s
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number20 PART 2
StatePublished - Oct 15 2006


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