Breast Cancer Patients? Stop Taking Calcium For Healthy Bones

I've been told since day one that women needed calcium supplements, especially when older, to prevent osteoporosis and other nasty things you get as you age.  But now researchers are saying that, while women undergoing treatment for breast cancer had been told to take calcium and Vitamin D to keep their bones strong, now it's not looking quite so right.

According to newswise.com, "New research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center finds that the recommended daily doses of these supplements may not prevent loss of bone mineral density (BMD) in these women."

Apparently, women with breast cancer lose BMD at a higher rate than their healthier counterparts, increasing their risk of fractures, "which are associated with significant declines in function and health-related quality of life, and in higher mortality rates," newswise.com reports.

Now as someone who takes no vitamins -- and who did or didn't have breast cancer, depending on who you talk to -- I find this somewhat frightening.  It's not enough that women have to go through radiation (as I did) and chemo, but now they have to worry about their bones breaking?  And we're talking all breast cancer patients, not just the older ones.

The study concerns doctors because cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death in women with breast cancer, and there is growing evidence that "calcium supplements may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke."

Great.  So now we have to worry about heart attacks, too.

“The take-home message is that this very common practice of supplementation doesn’t really seem to be working,” study author Gary G. Schwartz, Ph.D., and a cancer epidemiologist at Wake Forest Baptist, told newswise.com.




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