A new study confirms there is a high rate of the bone-thinning disease - osteoporosis - in patients who have had their stomach removed because of cancer.
Dr Jong-Inn Lee and colleagues from the Korea Cancer Centre Hospital in Seoul used standard X-ray techniques to assess the bone density in 133 patients who underwent stomach removal for cancer. The overall rate of osteoporosis in patients older than 50 years was 39.6 percent, they report in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.
The rate of osteoporosis in the lower spine was 29.8 percent in men and 54.4 percent in women. The rate of osteoporosis in the hip was 11.9 percent in men and 26.3 percent in women.
Osteoporosis rates did not differ between patients with early or advanced stomach cancer. The type of intestinal reconstructive surgery used after stomach removal also had no bearing on the rates.
what the findings mean
The findings suggest that the surgical removal of the stomach itself affects bone density, as opposed to the method that is used to reconstruct the stomach, Lee and colleagues write. Therefore, the rate of osteoporosis among patients who have undergone removal of their stomach cannot be predicted by the type of reconstruction they have.
In men, other risk factors for osteoporosis were anaemia and age older than 64 years. In women, back pain was identified as risk factor.
Considering that patients who've undergone stomach removal for cancer "have many risk factors for osteoporosis fracture, early diagnosis and treatment are necessary," Lee and colleagues conclude.
"Although some early results suggest that osteoporosis after stomach removal is resistant to treatment, effective results have recently been reported with the development of many anti-osteoporosis drugs." – (Reuters Health)
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