Children with cancer risk fragile bones

Armen Hareyan's picture

Physicians caring for children with cancer should be on the lookout for signs of bone fragility caused by disease and treatment, according to a new report. Published in the April 1, 2007 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the review reveals that the combination of sedentary behaviors caused by the chronic illness and inhibition of bone growth and mineralization as side effects of treatments put these children at real risk for bone problems during their lifetime, including bone necrosis and fractures related to osteoporosis. The review says the risk can be mitigated through early management, including exercise and the judicious use of bisphosphonates.

Bone development is a dynamic process. One set of specialized cells lay down the materials that give bone its strength; and another set breaks it down, a process called resorption. In equilibrium, individual, normal bone shape and strength is maintained. At times of systemic or local bone growth

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