Cancer Treatment–Induced Bone Loss in Women With Breast Cancer and Men With Prostate Cancer

Pamela Taxel; Erika Faircloth; Sana Idrees; Catherine Van Poznak


J Endo Soc. 2018;2(7):574-588. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Cancer and cancer therapies can have a negative impact on bone health. Because cancer is a common diagnosis, survivorship concerns for osteoporosis and fragility fractures are an important component of care. This review addresses management of bone health in nonmetastatic cancer survivorship with a focus on breast cancer and prostate cancer.


Cancer treatment–induced bone loss refers to the accelerated loss of bone resulting from cancer therapies. It is recognized as an important survivorship issue in cancer care because newer medical therapies extend survival but may render patients at risk for osteoporosis and consequent fractures that can compromise quality of life and longevity. The focus of this review is to discuss the known mechanisms and cancer therapies associated with bone loss and risk of fracture as well as screening and management of bone health in this population. We focus on breast cancer (BCa) and prostate cancer (PCa), which have >400,000 new cases reported annually in the United States. Patients with a history of cancer are commonly seen in the Endocrine/Osteoporosis, Primary Care and Oncology clinics, with many patients on antihormonal therapies for the management of BCa or PCa. Bone loss may occur due to the underlying cancer itself via complexed mechanisms, but this is not within the scope of this current article, which focuses on bone health in patients without osseous metastases.