Bone health: the effect of androgen deprivation therapy in prostate cancer patients


  • Lawrence Drudge-Coates

    Corresponding author
    1. L Drudge-Coates, MSc, Dip/He, RGN, Urological Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Department of Urology, King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London, UK
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Department of Urology, King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS, UK


Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in the management of prostate cancer poses a considerable risk to bone health in prostate cancer patients, throughout their continuum of care. Associated decreases in bone mineral density and an increased risk of fracture can lead to major quality-of-life concerns and an adverse impact on morbidity and mortality, in an often already overburdened patient. Urology nurses in their administration and monitoring of the effects of ADT are essential for identifying at-risk patients and ensure timely and effective assessment and treatment. As health educators, they are ideally situated to promote and influence patients to adopt essential lifestyle changes in a multidisciplinary arena, to reduce risk factors. Supportive treatments are available to significantly reduce both bone loss and fracture risk that can easily be adopted by urology nurses in their existing clinical working environments to further strengthen positive management strategies for bone health.