From the Field: Working with Survivors for Stronger Bones

dreamstime_xs_12022463Yesterday at our research conference, one popular session focused on bone health for cancer survivors. More than 40 million adults in the US have or are at high risk for osteoporosis, a bone weakening disease.

Often due to some cancer therapies, survivors are at higher risk for bone loss and osteoporosis than the general population.

Breast and prostate cancer treatments may cause low estrogen or androgen levels, two hormones important for strong bones.

Between sessions, I talked with several oncology dietitians about how they work with survivors on bone health in their centers and clinics. While not unanimous, most RDs said their patients are very aware of their increased risk for bone loss and receive DEXA screening — a test for bone mineral density — and treatment, including diet and lifestyle prescriptions as well as appropriate medications. Continue reading


Surviving Cancer: How Dietitians Navigate Their Own Recovery

canstockphoto0951598If you’ve gone through cancer treatment, perhaps you worked with a Registered Dietitian (RD) and an exercise specialist for exercise and general eating concerns. Healthful eating, along with being physically active, during treatment can help you keep up your energy level and recover more quickly.

However, side effects like fatigue, nausea and changes in taste can make those healthy habits challenging.

Although RDs don’t need personal experience with cancer treatment to help patients, as we marked Cancer Survivor Day on June 2, I wondered how RDs managed their own cancer treatment. What advice did they follow and what worked well for them?

I asked three RDs to share how they managed eating and physical activity through their own cancer treatment and recovery. Here are their words of wisdom: Continue reading


Study: Do Ice Cream and Cheese Up Risk for Breast Cancer Mortality?

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image27116234Dairy foods like ice cream, regular cheese and whole milk are high in fat and saturated fat, linked to an increased risk for heart disease. There is little evidence that total dietary fat affects cancer risk, but it is less clear whether specific high fat foods or types of fats affect cancer risk.

Now, a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that, for breast cancer survivors, consuming high fat dairy foods may be related to an increased risk of breast cancer mortality.

The researchers followed 1893 women diagnosed with early-stage invasive breast cancer who were enrolled in the Life After Cancer Epidemiology (LACE) study. The participants completed food frequency questionnaires, including how much dairy they consumed, when they entered the study and in 6 year follow-up surveys. In this study median follow-up was 11.8 years. Continue reading