In the Winter 2014 AICR Science Now newsletter put out by the American Institute of Cancer Research they talk about how breast cancer survivors face increased risk of fractures that come from weak bones. Patients have to be very careful to avoid bone loss and falls that lead to broken bones.
I thought it was interesting when I read that hormone therapies such as aromatase inhibitors (AIs) can reduce your estrogen levels that reduce bone loss. I know I was on Armidex for 9 years and still have to have bone infusions to strengthen my bones.
Bone loss in the first five years can be 2-5% for healthy women. Add breast cancer to the equation, and you have more problems. Chemotherapy induces more problems of bone loss besides certain drugs.
Exercise is really important in preventing reduced bone mass and getting osteoporosis. Vitamin D and calcium are important as well because they help with bone preservation. People produce most vitamin D from the sun. that is hard in Duluth in the winter. We just don’t get the sun, cancer is higher in northern MN. patients should be tested for vitamin D levels. Food sources do not provide enough vitamin D level.
Vitamin D levels of 30 ng/ml or higher are recommended. Calcium should be 1,200 daily and no higher, as it can harm you and put you at risk for cardiovascular disease kidney stones. Diets rich in too much calcium can be dangerous.
Being over weight is the leading cause of death of survivors.
Excessive body fat puts you at risk for postmenopausal breast cancer, and it may increase your risk of recurrence and secondary cancers. Obese women are at increased risk of type 2 diabetes and high disease.
What are modifiable risk factor for osteoporosis? exercise, vitamin D and calcium, and you should alcohol and not smoke. Patients don’t like to hear this but it is based on research.
Walking is important in decreasing breast cancer risk. Walk for one hour per day.
As far as your heart health, consider the Dash diet or Mediterranean diet. Limit sugar, sugary beverages, salt/sodium and red meat according to http://www.aicr.org.