Cancer treatment-induced bone loss

Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2007 Dec;14(6):442-5. doi: 10.1097/MED.0b013e3282f169b5.


Purpose of review: Patients treated for cancer may be at risk for osteoporosis and fracture. Evaluation and treatment of patients with cancer treatment-induced bone loss should lead to fewer fractures. This review will help clinicians learn to identify, evaluate and treat cancer patients at risk.

Recent findings: Survivors of childhood cancers and patients made hypogonadal by treatment for breast or prostate cancer are clearly at risk for osteoporosis and fracture. Use of aromatase inhibitors rather than tamoxifen for breast cancer will likely lead to more osteoporosis. Bisphosphonates prevent bone loss in many patients at risk.

Summary: For many cancer patients, treatment with calcium, vitamin D, and bisphosphonates will likely decrease the consequences of cancer treatment-induced bone loss, namely fractures.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Androgen Antagonists / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / adverse effects*
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents / therapeutic use
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Diphosphonates / therapeutic use
  • Estrogen Receptor Modulators / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone / etiology*
  • Fractures, Bone / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Hypogonadism / chemically induced*
  • Hypogonadism / complications
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Osteoporosis / complications
  • Osteoporosis / diagnosis
  • Osteoporosis / drug therapy
  • Osteoporosis / etiology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Survivors


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • Bone Density Conservation Agents
  • Diphosphonates
  • Estrogen Receptor Modulators