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Interventions to Prevent Loss of Bone Mineral Density in Women Receiving Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer

Karen K. Swenson
Susan J. Henly
Alice C. Shapiro
Lynne M. Schroeder
CJON 2005, 9(2), 177-184 DOI: 10.1188/05.CJON.177-184

Loss of bone mineral density (BMD) is a significant problem for women receiving breast cancer treatment. The purpose of this article is to present the state of the knowledge on BMD loss and analyze interventions to prevent BMD loss in women receiving breast cancer treatment. The data sources include primary research reports, review articles, and book chapters. With increased numbers of breast cancer survivors, BMD loss experienced with treatment is a significant health concern because of risks of osteoporosis and bone fractures. These long-term treatment effects may significantly impact patients' long-term morbidity and mortality. BMD screening as well as an assessment of physical activity and dietary history should be conducted with women undergoing breast cancer treatment. Bisphosphonates are effective in preventing BMD loss, and other interventions such as physical activity and dietary interventions need further testing. Oncology nurses are ideal candidates for implementing interventions to prevent BMD loss because of their understanding of cancer treatments, knowledge of health-related behaviors, and ability to teach patients about the positive health benefits of lifestyle changes.

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