Certain cancer treatments can increase your risk for developing osteoporosis which is a disease that weakens your bones, making them thinner and more sponge like (porous), placing them at a greater risk for fractures or breaks. Hormones like estrogen and testosterone play an important role in protecting your bones. Some cancer treatments involve stopping the function of the ovaries and testes, which produces these hormones, and can increase your risk for osteoporosis.
Some types of hormone therapy are specifically designed to slow or stop the production of hormones. Other have bone protecting properties. If you are using hormonal therapy, ask your doctor about your risks for osteoporosis. Certain types of chemotherapy have a direct affect on your bone health because they lower your estrogen and testosterone levels. Chemotherapy may also cause an early onset of menopause, placing women at a greater risk for bone loss.
Exercise & Osteoporosis
Weight bearing exercise can slow down mineral loss from your bones, helping you maintain your bone density. Stronger bones are less likely to fracture or break. Exercise also helps you improve your balance and strength, lessening the likelihood of falls. It helps regulate estrogen levels in women and testosterone levels in men. Some examples of weight bearing exercises include:
- lifting weights
- Walking or jogging
- stair climbing and racquet sports
In addition to doing weight bearing exercises, the following lifestyle changes can help to keep your bones as strong as they can be:
- Get enough calcium.
- Get enough vitamin D.
- Limit or avoid alcohol.
- Quit smoking.