|Newsletter #63 |
Lee Euler, Editor
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About Cancer Defeated!
"When my doctor said he could save me from
It's no joke! Scientific studies show a popular prostate cancer treatment called androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) causes bone loss and bone breaks in men.
And not only could this be a painful problem—it could even mean a change to the height recorded on your medical charts. That's right. You've probably heard of "dowager's hump" — the collapse of the spine seen in older women with osteoporosis. Now it's for men, too!
It gets worse: While ADT might help you beat prostate cancer—you might also wind up dealing with a host of side effects such as hot flashes… loss of libido… erectile dysfunction… and even depression.
The journal Reviews in Urology1 acknowledges that despite being highly controversial—ADT is "universally accepted as first-line treatment" for battling prostate cancer.
This is because ADT helps lower levels of the androgen hormone. This male hormone can cause prostate cancer to grow and spread.
ADT has been praised for its ability to relieve cancer-related pain and modestly improve cancer survival rates. So if you want "modest improvement" this treatment's for you.
Personally, I'd aim to get rid of prostate cancer completely by using alternative therapies. Small improvements in survival time don't get me all that excited.
For the real scoop on prostate cancer treatments that work, I've written a Special Report called Don't Touch My Prostate (click here to learn more). If you're a man over 40, you're at risk for a prostate tumor. By age 70, practically every man has one. And sometimes it's nothing to worry about, as the report explains.
Don't Touch My Prostate is a quick, easy summary of the best steps you can take for this disease.
Meanwhile, I can give you LOTS more reasons not to let a doctor talk you into ADT. . .
Several scientific studies have shown the link between ADT use and accelerated bone loss and incidents of bone fractures.
According to a report in the prestigious New England Medical Journal2 , a review of medical records of over 50,000 men with prostate cancer showed that those receiving ADT experienced a whopping 54 percent increase in bone fractures compared with men who did not receive ADT!
Studies have shown that patients who took ADT to treat localized prostate cancer experienced rapid and profound decreases in bone density of up to 4 percent annually. That rate of bone loss is more severe than losses experienced by normal aging in healthy men.
If your doctor recommends ADT and you decide to listen to him, you should be sure to have a bone density test before you start. This first test will serve as a baseline against future test results when checking to see if bone loss has occurred.
If your bone density is low on the baseline test, your doctor will probably recommend an osteoporosis medicine — a drug to counteract the side effects of the first drug. These medicines are in a drug class called bisphosphonates.
But you should know that taking these drugs may cause irregular heartbeats… inflammation in the stomach and esophagus… and possibly pain in your bones, joints and muscles. What's more, bisphosphonates are themselves linked to a higher rate of fractures.
Good grief—some of the cures can be worse than the diseases!
Here's what you can do to stop
To maintain bone health during this type of prostate cancer treatment, make sure you get plenty of calcium and vitamin D every day. Vitamin D signals your intestines to increase calcium absorption—and helps your body maintain normal calcium blood levels to nourish your bones.
And protecting your bones is critical for all of us—especially as we age...
In the 2004 report Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General, Dr. Richard Carmona revealed a startling 10 million Americans over age 50 have osteoporosis. And 34 million have low bone density—which can lead to osteoporosis.
These bone diseases are a primary cause of nearly 1.5 million painful bone fractures each year. This is largely due to a widespread deficiency of calcium in the diet. How does this happen?
Bones are living tissues and are constantly broken down and reformed throughout your life. You reach your peak bone mass by age 30. This is the point when your body has built the maximum amount of bone you will EVER have.
Like bone growth, bone loss is also a gradual process. The stronger your bones are at age 30—the better chance that bone loss will be delayed as you get older.
And once you pass age 30, you'll have to take in plenty of calcium to prevent the gradual breakdown of bone tissue.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, your bones and teeth store more than 99% of your body's calcium to keep them strong and healthy.
If you don't get enough calcium in your diet, your body will snatch calcium from bones to support muscle and nerve functions.
Excessive consumption of sodas is another cause of bone loss, as I've said in previous issues. Sodas are highly acidic, while our blood is normally alkaline. Your blood will leach calcium out of your bones in an effort to maintain an even, alkaline balance.
Over time, calcium withdrawals can make your bones brittle or misshapen—like the occasional hump you see on an older person's back. That's a classic sign of osteoporosis.
In addition to boosting your calcium and vitamin D intake—you should be sure to get daily exercise. Both aerobic exercise, such as walking or tennis, and weight-bearing (muscle-strengthening) activities can help build your bones.
So don't think you'll have to sacrifice your 'bones of steel' if you're battling prostate cancer. Try boosting your calcium and vitamin D intake and giving up the soda habit if you want to control bone loss and strengthen brittle bones.
It could help add years to your life—and help preserve inches of height too!
1 Higano C. Management of bone loss in men with prostate cancer. J Urol. 2003;170:S59-S64. Retrieved December 30, 2010 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14610412
Abarado, C., & Mahon, S.M. (2010). Androgen deprivation bone loss in patients with prostate cancer. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 14, 191-198. doi: 10.1188/10.CJON.191-198
Becze, E. April 2010. ONS Connect. Prevent and manage bone loss in men receiving androgen deprivation therapy. December 30, 2010 from http://www.onsconnect.org/2010/04/prevent-and-manage-bone-loss-in-men-receiving-androgen-deprivation-therapy
National Osteoporosis Foundation. 2010. Androgen deprivation therapy and possible bone loss. Retrieved December 30, 2010 from http://www.nof.org/faq-androgendeprivationtherapy
Perlumutter, M. and Lepor, H. 2007. Reviews in Urology. Androgen Deprivation Therapy in the Treatment of Advanced Prostate Cancer. Retrieved December 30, 2010 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1831539/
Smith, M. March 2004. Oncology. Complications of androgen deprivation therapy: Prevention and treatment. Retrieved December 30, 2010 from http://www.cancernetwork.com/display/article/10165/104098
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|Health Disclaimer: The information provided above is not intended as personal medical advice or instructions. You should not take any action affecting your health without consulting a qualified health professional. The authors and publishers of the information above are not doctors or health-caregivers. The authors and publishers believe the information to be accurate but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. There is some risk associated with ANY cancer treatment, and the reader should not act on the information above unless he or she is willing to assume the full risk.|
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