Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Painful hip fractures strike breast cancer survivors

Date:
February 2, 2011
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
Common drugs used to treat breast cancer combined with the early stages of menopause could be weakening the bones of middle-aged breast cancer survivors. This bone loss may lead to hip fractures and debilitating physical effects, according to a new study.

A hip fracture is not common in a 54-year-old woman, unless she is a 54-year-old breast cancer survivor, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study. Researchers found that a combination of early menopause due to breast cancer treatment and common drugs used to treat breast cancer, could be weakening the bones of breast cancer survivors once they hit middle age, leading to hip fractures.

Related Articles


Results of the study are published in the February 2011 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

Hip fractures are rare in people under 70. Yet, Northwestern Medicine physician Beatrice Edwards, M.D., found that several breast cancer survivors in their early 50s were coming to her for treatment of hip fractures.

Edwards is director of the Bone Health and Osteoporosis program and associate professor of medicine and of orthopaedic surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She also is a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

Researchers studied six of these women over one year and assessed the type of breast cancer they had, the treatment they underwent and a hip fracture's effect on quality of life, said Edwards, lead author of the study.

"One year after the fracture the women still reported difficulty with climbing stairs, shopping and heavy housekeeping," Edwards said. "Their health care costs may increase and their fractures contribute to losing some independence."

Edwards was surprised to find that the majority of the women did not have osteoporosis, but did have lower than normal bone mineral density (osteopenia). This suggests that rapid change in bone architecture from chemotherapy, early menopause and adjuvant therapy may not be evident on bone mineral density test, Edwards said.

The women had early-stage breast cancer and received treatment including lumpectomy, radiation therapy and chemotherapy with cytoxan and adriamycin one to four years before the fracture occurred. They were all perimenopausal at the time of the fracture.

Four of the six women had breast cancer that grew in response to estrogen and received aromatase inhibitors (AIs) as part of their cancer therapy to block their bodies from making estrogen. Recent studies have linked AIs with possible bone loss in women.

Edwards' team also reviewed reports from the FDA's adverse event reporting system and other databases and found that AIs were the most common drug class associated with hip fractures.

"Although the majority of women with breast cancer can expect to be fully cured from the disease, the prevention of cancer treatment-induced bone loss is important to consider in cancer survival," Edwards said. "More research needs to be done before treatment guidelines are changed, but greater awareness of the adverse effects of certain breast cancer drugs is needed."

Edwards said the next step is for researchers to conduct a clinical trial and give bone density screenings to women before they enter breast cancer chemotherapy. High-risk patients would be flagged and given preventive bone loss therapy and monitored for premature hip fractures.

"The pain and suffering and hospital stays and higher health costs associated with these hip fractures might be prevented through early intervention," Edwards said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. B. J. Edwards, D. W. Raisch, V. Shankaran, J. M. McKoy, W. Gradishar, A. D. Bunta, A. T. Samaras, S. N. Boyle, C. L. Bennett, D. P. West, T. A. Guise. Cancer Therapy Associated Bone Loss: Implications for Hip Fractures in Mid-Life Women with Breast Cancer. Clinical Cancer Research, 2011; 17 (3): 560 DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-1595

Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Painful hip fractures strike breast cancer survivors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110202040942.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2011, February 2). Painful hip fractures strike breast cancer survivors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110202040942.htm
Northwestern University. "Painful hip fractures strike breast cancer survivors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110202040942.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) — Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins