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Cancer children at risk of fragile bones

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Children with cancer are at risk of bone fragility caused by both their diseases and the treatment, doctors have warned.

Children with cancer are at risk of bone fragility caused by both their diseases and the treatment, doctors have warned.

According to a report by Alessandra Sala and Ronald D Barr, of McMasterUniversity in Hamilton, Ontario, children with cancer have multiple risk factors for osteoporosis and fractures.

After studying reports into cancer in children, the authors concluded that that children with cancer were less physically active.

Chemotherapy and cranial radiotherapy are linked with decreased bone formation and abnormally low bone mineral density (BMD).

Low BMD can persist for years and is associated with benign conditions such as bone pain or severe problems like fractures.

However the authors add that several treatments are available to stimulate mineralization and minimise the loss at a critical bone development stage.

Cancer (2007) Online publication. DOI:10.1002/cncr.22546

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