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  • Writer's pictureWomen's Cancer Research Foundation

Opportunistic Osteoporosis Screening in Gynecologic Cancer Survivors

Updated: Jan 12


Cancer treatment-induced bone loss is a known side effect of cancer therapy. A recent study evaluated routine computed tomography (CT) images to determine long-term bone mineral density (a measure of your bone health that incorporates bone strength and bone loss) changes and osteoporosis risk among women with gynecologic cancers. Bone loss was evaluated in a retrospective study involving women ≤65 years old with gynecologic cancer who underwent oophorectomy (the surgical removal of one or both of your ovaries) from January 2010 to December 2014. Opportunistic CT-based bone mineral density measurements were performed at baseline (beginning of the study) and intervals up to 5 years after cancer diagnosis.

Routine CT imaging is a convenient screening modality to identify those at highest risk for osteoporosis.

A total of 185 patients (median age 53 years, 78.1% had ovarian cancer) were included. Bone mineral density significantly decreased between baseline and 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years. Pre-treatment bone mineral density was a significant predictor at 1 and 5 years and a history of chemotherapy predicted bone loss at 1 year. More lifetime chemotherapy cycles were associated with increased risk of osteoporosis at 1 year and 5 years. In summary, women with gynecologic cancers may experience accelerated cancer treatment-induced bone loss.

Routine CT imaging is a convenient screening modality to identify those at highest risk for osteoporosis and thus, bone mineral density assessments 1 year following oophorectomy for cancer treatment may be warranted in this population.

About Women’s Cancer Research Foundation

The Women’s Cancer Research Foundation (WCRF) is one of the most active research organizations in the nation. We are dedicated to studying and evaluating novel treatments for women afflicted with breast, ovarian, endometrial, and cervical cancers. The WCRF persistently endeavors to make a difference in women’s lives by offering them hope, strength, and progress.

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