Understanding the Effects of Cancer Treatment on Bone Health

March 29, 2017

Osteoporosis is a fairly common condition that results in weakened, brittle bones and loss of bone mass throughout the body. Although anyone can develop osteoporosis, it is more common in women after menopause.
Brittle bones are more susceptible to breaks and fractures. For patients undergoing treatment for cancer, the risk of developing osteoporosis and bone fractures is greater after going through standard treatment protocols like radiation and chemotherapy.

How Cancer Treatments Increase Your Bone-Fracture Risk

Cancer patients can become vulnerable to osteoporosis and bone fractures as a result of both the tumors and the treatment to eliminate them. Although primary bone cancer that originates in the bones may be rare, other forms of cancer often metastasize into the bones. Women are naturally at a higher risk for osteoporosis due to a number of factors like decreased estrogen production after menopause. Drug therapies for breast cancer may involve suppressing estrogen levels to inhibit tumor growth, which puts the bones at risk for fractures.
Similarly, men in treatment for prostate cancer may receive hormone therapy that can weaken bone density as a result. Along with the other side effects that come with cancer treatment, those cancer patients with weak bones to begin with, can be more susceptible to accidents and falls, more pain and a lower quality of life. Taking precautions to treat osteoporosis before the symptoms accelerate can help to minimize its effects.

What is Kyphoplasty?

Kyphoplasty, also known as osteoporosis-fracture treatment, is a minimally invasive procedure used to repair bone fractures and collapsed vertebrae in the spine due to osteoporosis. The entire procedure, performed on an outpatient basis at our clinic in Birmingham, lasts around 45 minutes with a short, one-hour-long recovery period. Using an inflated balloon to open a cavity in the bone, the surgeon then fills the space with a bone-cement compound made of polymethyl methacrylate, or “PMMA,” to strengthen the bone and act as a type of cast. Physicians prescribe kyphoplasty to relieve the most common symptoms of osteoporosis to help you regain as much quality of life as possible by:
  • Reducing pain
  • Stabilizing weakened and fractured bone
  • Restoring compressed vertebrae to normal height
Kyphoplasty patients are able to return home on the day of the procedure.

Get Osteoporosis Treatments in Birmingham, AL

For more information on Kyphoplasty treatment for osteoporosis, contact Southside Pain Specialists by calling 205-332-3155 or visit us online to schedule a consultation today.