bone loss: a public service announcement

I have been reading Cancer Fitness by Anna L. Scharwtz. I’m only a few chapters in, but the book has already taught me some important things.

I don’t tend to devote a lot of thought to preventing bone loss but I did know that regular weight-bearing exercise helps prevent bone loss and to build strong bones. And while I walk and run (just finished the Running Room‘s beginner program again), I really don’t do any strength training (or core work, for that matter, despite repeated promises to myself).

Cross-posted from Not Just About Cancer.

The women in my family tend to have strong bones (and good bone density) but what I didn’t realize was how many factors put me at risk:

  • early menopause, as a result of chemotherapy.
  • doxorubicin (Adriamycin, the infamous “red devil). I had 6 rounds (this is also the drug that temporarily damaged my heart).
  • decadron and other steroids (I had higher doses with the first 6 rounds of chemo but I still get decadron through IV with every chemo treatment, to help mitigate side effects).
  • lorazepam (Ativan, which I use only occasionally for insomnia. I had absolutely no idea that it caused bone loss)
  • regular consumption of caffeine.


And I don’t drink very much milk, either.

Remember, that promise to myself I made in January? Well, I have not made as much progress as I would like. So, I signed up for a fitness class at my local community centre that incorporates core work and strength training (since the free weights, stability ball and exercise bands don’t seem to be doing much more than collecting dust) to get myself started. Now, I have another reason to get to it.

I also took a calcium supplement today for the first time in months. Those suckers are horse pills but I think I need to get back into the habit of choking them down.

What are you doing to prevent bone loss?

Cross-posted from Not Just About Cancer.

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One Response to bone loss: a public service announcement

  1. Thanks for the info. Interesting stats since I can list all those risks for myself. I can’t choke the pills down either so I now take Calcium and Vitamins in Gummy form–They taste pretty good. Also, something my “drug doctor” told me at chemo was that Calcium needed to be taken with food and should be split up and taken once in the morning and once at night to be the most effective. Otherwise I guess you pee out what you don’t need if you take it all at once in the AM.

    My heart was also damaged by the AC–I am wondering, when did yours recover?

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