Medical Q&As

Chemotherapy - osteoporosis risk?

I have breast cancer. Chemotherapy appears to have induced menopause. Is it ok to take calcium in tablet form to help offset osteoporosis?

There is no medical contraindication to taking calcium tablets in your case. However you donít necessarily have to take tablets especially if your diet is good. Fortified milk and cheese are good dietary sources of calcium and these could be added to your diet. Regular physical exercise such as a brisk walk is also very important in the prevention of osteoporosis. It is also important that you stop smoking if you happen to smoke cigarettes. You havenít mentioned your age but you might like to discuss with your doctor the option of measuring the density of your bones. This is performed with an instrument known as a bone densiometer. This is a painless procedure that can be performed in the outpatientís department. Depending on the result your doctor could then decide if you need prescribed medication, which could halt the later development of osteoporosis. There are special drugs available other than HRT that can achieve this effect.