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Osteoporosis a Risk in Prostate Cancer Therapy

Often overlooked in men receiving hormone therapy

MONDAY, Dec. 13, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Osteoporosis appears to be an often overlooked risk for men with prostate cancer who are having hormone therapy, says a study to be published in the Jan. 15 issue of Cancer.

Researchers from Loyola University in Chicago examined data on 184 prostate cancer patients who had androgen-deprivation therapy, which is known to increase the risk of osteoporosis. The study found the majority of the men didn't get osteoporosis prevention or treatment.

Only 14.7 percent received any form of osteoporosis management; only 8.7 percent received a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scan to screen for osteoporosis; only 4.9 percent were prescribed a bisphosphonate, which has been shown to prevent further bone loss.

Patients who had prostate cancer that had spread to their bones were most likely to receive clinical management of osteoporosis risk. The study also found that primary-care doctors were the most aggressive at managing osteoporosis in prostate cancer patients, while cancer specialists were the least aggressive.

Alcoholism, smoking, age-related hormone changes and some medications, including those used in prostate cancer treatments, are among the risk factors for male osteoporosis. This bone disease can be prevented and treated, the study authors said.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about osteoporosis in men.

SOURCE: John Wiley & Sons Inc., news release, Dec. 13, 2004
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