Bone damaging side effects associated with certain breast cancer treatments may be preventable, according to a new study.
Research at the University of Pittsburgh has shown that patients who take zoledronic acid alongside anti-cancer medications maintain bone health during treatment.
"This study shows that bone loss from aromatase inhibitors can be prevented long term with a safe and effective drug that prevents osteoporosis," stated Dr Adam Brufsky, author of the study.
The research monitored women taking zoledronic acid over a period of five years and observed significant and progressive increases in bone density in women who took the drug at the start of the treatment.
However, a 2008 study found that cancer drugs were not the only contributing factor to bone damage in breast cancer patients.
Among 64 subjects referred to a bone clinic, 78 per cent had at least one other cause of bone loss.
Common causes were vitamin D deficiency, excessive calcium excretion in urine and an overactive parathyroid gland.
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