Blood cancer, also known as hematologic cancer, affects the production and function of blood cells. While blood cancer and bone health may not seem directly related, there are important connections between the two. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Bone Marrow Involvement: Blood cancer often originates in the bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside bones responsible for producing blood cells. Cancerous cells can disrupt the normal functioning of bone marrow, affecting its ability to produce healthy blood cells and potentially weakening the surrounding bone structure.
  2. Bone Pain and Fractures: Blood cancer, particularly multiple myeloma, can lead to bone pain and an increased risk of fractures. Cancer cells can cause damage to the bone structure, resulting in bone weakness and potential breakage. Symptoms may include persistent bone pain, back pain, and an increased susceptibility to fractures.
  3. Osteoporosis: Certain blood cancer treatments, such as corticosteroids or hormonal therapies, can contribute to the development of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by weakened and brittle bones, making them more susceptible to fractures. It’s crucial to monitor bone health during and after blood cancer treatment.
  4. Bone Density Monitoring: Regular bone density scans, such as dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans, are essential for tracking bone health in individuals with blood cancer. These tests measure bone density and aid in identifying osteoporosis or osteopenia (lower bone density). Monitoring bone density allows for early intervention and management of potential bone health issues.
  5. Supportive Therapy and Medications: In cases where blood cancer or its treatment affects bone health, physicians may recommend supportive therapies. These may include medications to prevent bone loss, dietary changes, regular exercise, and lifestyle modifications to promote bone strength. It is important to follow medical advice and guidelines for managing both the blood cancer and bone health.
  6. Collaboration among Healthcare Providers: Collaboration between hematologists/oncologists and specialists in bone health, such as endocrinologists or rheumatologists, is crucial for comprehensive care. A multidisciplinary approach ensures that both the blood cancer and bone health aspects are addressed during diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care.

If you have blood cancer or are undergoing treatment, it’s vital to discuss bone health concerns with your healthcare team. They can provide guidance on monitoring bone density, managing potential complications, and offering supportive therapies to mitigate bone-related issues. Regular check-ups and open communication with your medical professionals are key to promoting overall well-being during and after blood cancer treatment.


By Sue