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Bone health in men with prostate cancer: diagnostic and therapeutic considerations
University of Montreal Health Center, Montreal, Quebec Canada
Jun  2005 (Vol.  12, Issue  31, Pages( 9 - 15)


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  • With current treatments, men usually survive many years after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. However, the systemic effects of prostate cancer and therapies such as androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) can undermine skeletal integrity, resulting in skeletal complications that may erode quality of life (QOL). Prostate cancer patients are at risk for fractures from cancer treatment-induced bone loss. In addition, they are also at risk for pathologic fractures, severe bone pain, and other sequelae from bone metastases, which almost invariably occur during the progression of prostate cancer. This review investigates the incidence and pathophysiology of bone loss and skeletal morbidity in prostate cancer patients and reviews available treatment options for maintaining skeletal health throughout the continuum of care for these patients. Several supportive interventions are available to prevent generalized and localized bone loss, including calcium and vitamin D supplements and bisphosphonates. Oral calcium and vitamin D supplementation alone, however, appears to be insufficient to prevent bone loss during ADT. New generation bisphosphonates such as zoledronic acid can prevent bone loss for patients on ADT and can reduce skeletal morbidity for those with bone metastases.