The American Society of Clinical Oncology received bad news about Breast Cancer Patients this week. A study of women with breast cancer, being treated with Aromatase Inhibitors (AI), was presented at the 2014 Breast Cancer Symposium. AI is a great treatment for breast cancer, however…
AI is known to decrease bone strength and to increase Fracture Risk. How many of these patients were evaluated for their bone health? Only 54%. How many got a repeat evaluation to check to be sure that their bone health was not deteriorating? Only 46%.
Of those tested, 43% had a DXA T-score in the “osteopenia” range. In this situation, FRAX is needed to calculate Fracture Risk. 41% of this group met guidelines for treatment with medication to prevent bone loss and Fractures. Of those who should have been treated, only 23% were.
This is much improved over 5 years ago, but we still have a long way to go. Using Aromatase Inhibitors to cure breast cancer is great. Neglecting to prevent fractures, including hip fractures, is not so good.
If you are being treated for breast cancer with AI, get a Complete Bone Health Evaluation. Use osteoporosis medication if needed to prevent fractures.
Take Control of Your Future. Talk to your oncologist about preserving your bone health.
Jay Ginther, MD