Some musculo-skeletal sequelae in cancer survivors

Acta Oncol. 2007;46(4):490-6. doi: 10.1080/02841860701218642.


This paper deals with some of the musculo-skeletal complication that can occur after cancer treatment. In particular, we focus on Cancer Treatment Induced Bone Loss (CTIBL) and the musculo-skeletal complications that can occur in patients treated for extremity sarcoma. In addition we discuss peripheral neuropathy, musculo-skeletal pain and briefly mention some of the complications related to radiotherapy. CTIBL is mostly studied in breast cancer and prostate cancer survivors. The cause in these groups is mainly due to treatment induced hypogonadism. Other causes of CTIBL are indirect or direct cause of chemotherapy, physical inactivity and inadequate intake of vitamin D and calcium. Treatment of CTIBL consists of diet and lifestyle changes and pharmacological intervention. Extremity bone sarcomas constitute a special group since they often experience mutilating surgery and heavy combination chemotherapy. The treatment results in worse function than the normal population and the amputated usually have lower physical functioning than patients treated with limb sparing surgery (LSS). However, most studies fail to show differences in quality of life between the amputated and LSS. Most of the studies performed on musculo-skeletal sequelae have been done on survivors of childhood cancer, breast cancer or prostate cancer. More studies among the other cancer groups are needed to reveal the extent and prevalence of these complications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amputees
  • Bone Resorption / etiology
  • Bone Resorption / pathology*
  • Calcium / deficiency
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms* / radiotherapy
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / pathology*
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / pathology*
  • Psychomotor Disorders / etiology
  • Psychomotor Disorders / pathology*
  • Quality of Life
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects*
  • Survivors*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency


  • Calcium