Bone complications in cancer patients

BJMO - volume 8, issue 1, march 2014

D. Schrijvers MD, PhD, A. Vandebroek MD, N. Blockx MD, F. van Fraeyenhove MD

Bone complications are frequently observed in cancer patients. They may be the result of the disease or due to the anticancer treatment. Osteoporosis is seen in up to 30% of cancer patients depending on tumor type and treatment and screening for osteoporosis is indicated in selected patients. It should be prevented by the use of calcium and vitamin D and exercising programs and, if present, should be adequately treated by drugs registered for the treatment of osteoporosis. Bone metastases are observed in up to 75% of metastatic cancer patients depending on the tumor type. Skeletal-related complications, occurring in 50–70% in patients with bone metastases, can be prevented and delayed by the use of bisphosphonates or denosumab. Prevention of the development of bone metastases has been shown by anti-tumor treatment while the role of modification of the micro-environment by bisphosphonates and denosumab needs further study.

(BELG J MED ONCOL 2014;8(1):3–8)


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