3 Tips for Maintaining Bone Health During Cancer Treatment

Woman running on soft surfaceFor individuals undergoing cancer treatments bone health is often a concern. Luckily, there are ways to keep bones strong – both during and after cancer treatments – with diet and exercise changes. Incorporating these three tips into your treatment regimen can maximize quality of life for cancer patients and help them heal faster.

  1. Avoid Bone Toxins
    Smoking and drinking alcohol can hurt bones. So can some medications, like steroids. Avoid bone toxins whenever possible to help prevent bone deterioration and weakening. If you are worried about the effect of your medications on your bone health, we recommend that you arrange some time to discuss it with your physician.
  2. Build Bone Stamina
    Exercise is good. You can maintain your bone health to the best of your ability by actually using your bones regularly. This means weight-bearing or strength-training exercises in addition to walking. Even if it’s just 15 minutes or a few sessions of 10 minutes each, regular exercise builds muscle strength and supports the body. Research shows that exercise has numerous benefits for cancer patients beyond bone health.
  3. Give Bones Nutrition
    In order to be strong, bones need certain nutrients. Calcium and vitamin D can help boost bone health. For the average adult, it’s 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily and 600 international units of vitamin D. Vitamin D can be difficult to get through diet alone, so you may want to speak with your physician about incorporating a supplement into your routine.

The best prevention for weakening bones is to start out with good bone health. We reach our peak bone mass at age 30, after which our bones begin to lose mass. Most menopausal women go down hill more rapidly than men. Remember: the more physically active one can be, the better it is for your bones!

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Source: National Comprehensive Cancer Network

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