Recurrent Breast Cancer

Thursday, April 11, 2013

 Osteoporosis is a “fragile bones” condition. More than half of women over fifty will have an osteoporosis-related fracture of the hip, wrist, or spine during their lifetime. Men with hip fractures have more disability than women with hip fractures. Wrists, hips, and spine are the most frequent body areas fractured in men and women. Medical complications and death due to hip fractures are three times higher in men than in women. 

Risk Factors for Osteoporosis: Physician-prescribed corticosteroid medicines, such as prednisone, methylprednisolone, taken daily more than three months.Low dietary intake of calcium and vitamin D. Low estrogen levels in menopausal women. Men with low testosterone levels.Immobility, such as long term bed confinement.Family history of osteoporosis. Excessive alcohol use. Smoking. Older age with chronic arthritis. Long term kidney disease.Hormone treatment for breast or prostate cancer.

DEXA Screening: DEXA (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) is a bone mineral imaging test that screens for osteoporosis. Is recommended for women over sixty five and men over age seventy. This procedure helps predict future risk of bone fractures. 

Osteoporosis Prevention: Weight bearing exercise, such as brisk walking, tennis, or yard work can delay osteoporosis onset.This includes walking, jogging, playing tennis, dancing, weight machines, stretch bands, Tai-chi, yoga, and rowing machines. These activities help condition not only the joints and muscles, but also the heart, lungs, and brain. In addition, check home fall hazards, such as loose rugs and cluttered stairs.

Over the Counter Medicines: Adults under age fifty should take 1,000 mg of calcium and 400 - 800 IU of vitamin D daily.Women fifty one to seventy years of age should take 1,200 mg of calcium and 400 - 800 IU of vitamin D daily. Men fifty one to seventy need 1,000 mg of calcium and 400 - 800 IU of vitamin D a day.Those over age seventy should take 1,200 mg of calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D daily. 

Prescription medicines for women: Raloxifene (Evista) and Tamoxifen improve calcium absorption and reduce risk for fractures. However, they have significant side effects that need to be discussed with a physician.

Questions or comments? Contact Dr. Clem at