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Child Orthopedics
Spine - Cervical
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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I am a 10-year breast cancer survivor. As I get older, I'm aware that my chances of falling and breaking a hip go up every year. Is there any direct link between having cancer and having a hip fracture?

There may be a link between cancer and hip fracture in the early years after having cancer. Metabolic changes after chemotherapy and radiation therapy increase the risk of fracture. But after five years, the risk of hip fracture in cancer patients actually drops below adults the same age who have never had cancer. The reasons for this aren't clear yet. Some experts think that whatever made it possible for the person to be a cancer survivor is also working in their favor in the case of hip fracture. Some of the risk of bone fracture in cancer patients may be linked to the type of cancer, presence of bone metastases, and effect of treatment on the bones. If you are concerned about your bone health and risk of fracture from osteoporosis, falls, or secondary to metabolic changes associated with cancer, see your physician for an evaluation. If you are osteoporotic, there are medications that can help prevent bone fracture. Take a look at some of the other risk factors and modify anything you can. For example, patients who remain independent ambulators (walkers) without an assistive device of any kind do the best in the long run. Staying fit and active is the best medicine for many health problems including fracture prevention.


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