I have written before about bone health, bone loss, bone density, bone drugs and other related topics. I guess that strong bones would eventually be an issue for most of us anyway--if we lived long enough and had never dealt with breast cancer. I can remember my hunched over great aunt, and I bet that you have known older women, too, with the infamous "Dowager's Hump" (and there is one insulting name).
Since I am writing this blog, however, and since you, hopefully, are reading it, we have the additional concerns related to breast cancer. Specifically, many of us were thrown quite prematurely into menopause, so have more years of no estrogen and resulting bone weakening. Then, the AIs that many of us take may weaken our bones even more. Finally, we are all concerned about bone mets and trying to keep ourselves as strong and healthy as possible.
To the rescue comes this excellent booklet by our friends at Living Beyond Breast Cancer (and, no, I don't get a payment every time I mention them. I just think they have fabulous materials). Here is the introduction and then a link. You can read the whole thing online, download it, or order a paper copy:
Almost all women worry about bone health at some point in their lives. Because you have a history of breast cancer, you may have special concerns about the possible long-term effects of treatment on your bones. The first step to protecting yourself is to learn how bones work and what role they play in your body.
Bone is living tissue. To keep your bones strong and healthy, special cells break down and rebuild bones throughout your life. During the first year of your life, your body probably replaced almost 100 percent of your skeleton.
Bones get increasingly dense, hard and compact when more bone is rebuilt than is broken down. This helps strengthen bones and prevent fractures (breaks). When bones rebuild, they take cues from the activity of your muscles, strengthening themselves in the areas you use them most.
Sometimes, more bone cells break down than the body can rebuild, causing bone loss. This breakdown, which weakens bones and makes them more likely to fracture, can become greater as you age, exercise less, go through menopause or have breast cancer treatment.
The thought of dealing with bone health prob- lems on top of a cancer diagnosis, recovery or follow-up care may be overwhelming at times. But there are things you can do to strengthen and maintain your bones.