BUDDY CHECK 7: Maintaining bone strength during cancer treatment

Published: Jun. 7, 2019 at 7:43 PM CDT
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When it comes to fighting diseases, including breast cancer, sometimes treatment brings unwanted side effects.

In this month's Buddy Check 7 report, we're looking at how bone density can sometimes be impacted by the cancer fighting process, and some of the ways people can combat it.

Two-time cancer survivor Alice Grignon is embracing life.

"Because of the education I got from that department, and I just keep looking forward to life, everyday," she said.

Grignon battled cervical cancer at just 29, and in 2012 found herself fighting breast cancer.

She's healthy now, but due to the normal process of aging, there's an added issue she needs to focus on.

"When patients are going through cancer treatment, they naturally, usually they feel fatigue and that reduces their activity level," Dr. Lopa Kabir of Marshfield Clinic said.

She went on to say, "some of the cancer therapy are anti-hormone therapy, and this also causes bone loss."

Even geographic location plays a role when it comes to bone strength, Dr. Kabir explained.

"Living in Wisconsin, we don't get much sunlight. And, we keep ourselves covered with long sleeves and that reduces our exposure to sunlight, and that reduces bone mass, too."

Dr. Kabir has a few tips for giving your bones a fighting chance.

"So, it is very important for people who are going through cancer treatment, that they maintain their bone health by increasing their exercise, muscle strengthening, and take calcium and vitamin D with their diet."