Prostate cancer is sometimes treated with hormone therapy, also known as androgen deprivation, in which a man's production of testosterone (the hormone that feeds prostate cancer) is shut down.
What You Should Know
Osteoporosis may be a side effect of hormone therapy for prostate cancer because some hormone drugs increase the risk of bone thinning. Not all men treated with hormone therapy for prostate cancer develop osteoporosis, but it's a good idea to have bone mineral density testing after treatment. This is a safe and noninvasive way to detect low bone density, monitor the effectiveness of treatments for osteoporosis, and predict the risk for future fractures.
What You Can Do
Although bone loss can't be replaced, there are certain things you can do to help slow the development of osteoporosis:
- Take calcium and vitamin D. The recommended daily intake of calcium is 1,200 mg to 1,500 mg a day. For vitamin D, it's 400 to 800 IU each day. Some research shows that a higher intake of calcium -- greater than 2,000 mg a day -- may increase the risk of prostate cancer. However, the recommended dose has not been found to increase the risk.
- Exercise. Regular physical activity, especially weight-bearing exercises, can help prevent bone loss. Resistance exercises, such as weight lifting, have been shown to strengthen bones.
- Don't use tobacco. Researchers know that using tobacco contributes to weak bones.
- Limit your alcohol intake. Drinking too much alcohol can reduce the formation of bone and disrupt the body's ability to absorb calcium.
Talk with your doctor about other ways to fight osteoporosis.
Published On: August 18, 2008