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Prostate Cancer and Osteoporosis: Any Connection?

Next to skin cancer, prostate cancer is reportedly the most common type of cancer affecting men. However, this type of cancers takes time to develop, and men diagnosed with it can live for long – but it can still get serious and even life-threatening.

Though all men stand the risk of getting prostate cancer, it mostly affects those of 65 years and above. At this age, there is also the risk of contracting another disease known as osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is especially a concern among men suffering from prostate cancer. One of the treatment procedures for prostate cancer is hormone deprivation. This procedure has been linked to osteoporosis. It is also known as androgen deprivation therapy owing to the fact that it deprives the cancer cells the androgen or male hormones, which are the causes of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer

What Is Osteoporosis?

This is a condition where bones become less dense, weaker, and more likely to break. Most people take it to be a disease for women, but men also suffer from it. Osteoporosis can largely be attributed to androgen deprivation, a procedure for suppressing prostate cancer. Apart from that, other risk factors include the following:

  • Having a small frame or being thin
  • Certain medications like glucocorticoids
  • Lack of sufficient exercise
  • Excessive alcohol and smoking
  • Family history of suffering the disease
  • Insufficient calcium

Osteoporosis can weaken the bones over many years without exhibiting any symptoms. Weak bones may seem such a non-issue for someone dealing with prostate cancer. However, it should be treated to avoid bones breaking easily.

What Causes Prostate Cancer and How Does It Link to Osteoporosis?

The androgen male hormones lead to the development of prostate cancer. Thus, deprivation of these hormones suppresses cancer. However, some of these deprived hormones such as testosterone are needed for protection against bone loss. Therefore, once they are blocked the bones become weak, less dense, and they break easily.

How Can You Manage Osteoporosis?

There are certain medically proven strategies for reducing the risk of getting this condition or lessening its effects for those already affected. They include the following:

  • Nutrition- use a well-balanced diet with plenty of vitamin D and calcium
  • Exercise-do regular exercises such as weightlifting, climbing stairs and walking
  • Lifestyle change- avoid lifestyle behaviors such as smoking

So far, there is no known medicine for the treatment of osteoporosis caused by hormone deprivation for prostate cancer treatment. However, research is underway to develop a cure. Meanwhile, the above tips should help you minimize the risk of getting osteoporosis.