(NaturalNews) The adverse health effects of conventional cancer treatment are numerous, and some well-known ones include hair loss, loss of appetite, nausea, constipation and even organ failure. A recent study carried out in Canada has revealed that treatments for breast cancer and prostate cancer can cause bone loss, too.
Details and Findings of Study
Published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the study was led by Dr Fred Saad, who is the director of urologic oncology at the Universite de Montreal's Faculty of Medicine and the Centre Hospitalier de l'Universite de Montreal (CHUM), and its team included members from McMaster University, the Universite Laval, the University of British Columbia, as well as the University of Toronto.
All in all, the research team looked at and analyzed data from a staggering number of previous studies on breast cancer and prostate cancer - more than 3,500 of them. And they found that breast cancer patients who were undergoing treatment with aromatase inhibitors had a higher chance of developing bone loss and fractures, as compared to those who were not undergoing such a protocol.
At the same time, the study team found that prostate cancer sufferers who were undergoing androgen deprivation therapy experienced heightened risk of bone disorders. Such increased risk was consistently detected across the studies analyzed, with the elevation in risk ranging from 5% to 45%.
"Awareness of the incidence of cancer-associated bone loss raises issues for clinicians who should identify those patients who are most at risk for fractures and prescribe treatment strategies. This information is not only a concern for the specialists, but also for the general practitioners who frequently encounter these patients," said Dr Saad.
Another aspect of the study was an evaluation of the usefulness of bisphosphonate treatment in fighting bone loss. "Bone is a dynamic tissue which undergoes a cyclic process of breaking down and rebuilding. Medications called bisphosphonates help with the rebuilding process and have been successfully used to combat osteoporosis, which is good news for cancer patients," said Dr Saad.
More, however, will need to be done to look further into this area. "It is clear that the use of bisphosphonates attenuates bone loss. However, the optimal dosing and long-term impact is unclear and needs to be determined. Other measures to combat the bone loss, such as exercise, vitamin D intake, avoidance of cigarettes, may also be beneficial," Dr Saad also said.
A recent Boston study had suggested that an alkalizing diet containing good amounts of fruits and vegetables may be helpful in preventing bone loss and improving bone health. The leader of that study, Dr Bess Dawson-Hughes, had said that "increasing the alkali content of the diet may attenuate bone loss in healthy older adults". You may wish to read more about that study here: http://www.naturalnews.com/025295.html
In addition, a 2007 study also revealed that exercise may reduce, or even reverse, bone loss which was caused by certain conventional cancer treatments.
Revisiting the revelations of the recent Canadian study, the findings on bone loss are useful for helping to evaluate the risks and dangers of conventional cancer treatment, as well as for putting in place necessary precautions for those undergoing such therapies. On the other hand, the findings on bisphosphonate drugs, however, would have to be read together with the fact that the study was in fact funded by grants from the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis.