Men with prostate cancer prone to fracture: study

May 30th, 2008 - 2:19 pm ICT by admin  

Sydney, May 30 (IANS) Men with prostate cancer are at a 50 percent greater risk of bone fractures, which is nearly doubled in case they are undergoing treatment. This is the finding of a study based on an analysis of 822 men for nearly 20 years. They were aged 60 or over in 1989 when the study began.

“It has taken us about two years to assemble and analyse the data. The results suggest a link between the two diseases, although we still don’t understand the mechanisms,” said Tuan Nguyen of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research here, who led the study.

Of the 822 men, 43 subsequently developed prostate cancer. Twenty-two of the men received ADT (androgen deprivation therapy) and 21 did not.

Compared to the men without prostate cancer, those with the disease showed a 50 percent increase in the risk of fracture. For those being treated with ADT, the risk increased approximately twofold.

“The results have important implications in practice for several reasons,” said Nguyen.

“First, most of the men who developed prostate cancer started out with a higher BMD (bone mineral density) than average. Second, developing prostate cancer clearly increased their risk of fracture. Third, ADT treatment doubled their risk of fracture.

“There are factors at play that we do not yet understand. Obviously the higher BMD of the men with prostate cancer did not protect them against fracture. Exactly what mechanisms are at work are unclear.

“Osteoporosis in men often remains untreated, even after a fracture. It is highly unlikely, therefore, that any of the men at higher risk will be receiving anti-fracture therapy.

“The clear message that comes out of this study is that men with prostate cancer should consider seeking evaluation for osteoporosis, particularly if they are being treated with ADT.”

The findings of the study have just been published online in the journal Bone.

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