The risk of osteoporosis is felt to be two-four times greater in women than in men.
Osteoporosis involves a loss of bone or bone density that puts one at increased
risk for fractures, particularly of the hip and for compression fractures of the
spine. However, certain diseases put men at an increased risk for bone loss
over women.The treatment for prostate cancer with anti-testosterone
medications, such as Lupron, Eligard, and Trelstar mimics the loss of estrogen
in women at menopause. With more common use of early therapy for prostate
cancer, the problem may increase in men. Smoking, alcohol, and a sedentary
lifestyle can also contribute to the problem.
The diagnosis of osteoporosis is made with an X-ray. The most common and
accurate bone study is through a type of X-ray called a DEXA scan (Dual
Energy X-ray Absorptiometry). This type of scan is very safe and takes
about ten minutes to do. The patient lies on a flat table while a scanner
moves over the body measuring bone density in two different spots, usually
the hip (or thigh bone) and lower spine. Although there is no current
standard for bone density in men, the standard now used for women is felt to
be accurate enough for men. The results of the DEXA scan are given as a
“T-score” which represents the degree of deviation from the normal bone scan
reading of a 21 year-old woman.
Once the degree of bone loss is determined, various treatments are available
for increasing bone density.
The patient with prostate cancer should talk with his doctor about screening
for osteoporosis.Early diagnosis is important to prevent a long-term