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Femur fracture classification in women with a history of breast cancer

Women with breast cancer are at increased risk for femur fracture. Contributing factors include estrogen deficiency, cancer-related therapies, or direct bone involvement. This study examines fracture subtypes in women with prior breast cancer experiencing a femur fracture. Women age ?50 years old with a history of invasive breast cancer who experienced a femur fracture were identified during 2005-2012. Fracture site was classified by hospital diagnosis (for hip) and/or radiologic findings (for femoral diaphysis), with subtype classification as pathologic, atypical or fragility fracture. Clinical characteristics were ascertained using health plan databases and disease registries. There were 802 women with prior breast cancer who experienced a femur fracture. The mean age at fracture was 80.5±9.6 years, with most fractures (93.8%) occurring in the hip and only 6.2% in the femoral diaphysis. However, diaphyseal fractures accounted for 23.6% of fractures in younger women (age ?65 years). Pathologic fractures comprised 9.6% of total fractures (56.0% of diaphyseal fractures) and accounted for half the fractures in younger women. An atypical fracture pattern was seen in 1% of all femur fractures and 16.0% of diaphyseal fractures, with prior bisphosphonate exposure in all atypical fracture cases. Most femur fractures in women with prior breast cancer occurred in the hip. Among younger women and those experiencing diaphyseal fractures, a larger proportion were pathologic and some were found to be atypical. Further studies should examine risk factors for femur fracture in women with breast cancer with specific attention to fracture subtype and pharmacologic exposures.

Authors: Chau S; Chandra M; Grimsrud CD; Gonzalez JR; Hui RL; Lo JC

J Bone Oncol. 2014 May;3(2):49-53. Epub 2014-04-01.

PubMed abstract

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