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Cancer survivors combat weak bones, pain

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Kat Burton is having what she calls one of her bad days.

As she’s exercising in the gym at the Tuckahoe YMCA she tells her trainer that she’s tired and she’s feeling some pain.

Burton, 48, will have that pain for the rest of her life. The gym is where she says she gets some relief.

Burton says it’s a little less painful during the workout. She works out three nights a week at the Y in the LiveStrong Program for cancer survivors.

She says, I’m a four and a half year survivor and the bone pain has not let up.

She says her chemo treatments for breast cancer saved her life but a lasting side effect is bone pain.

New findings show most breast cancer patients are unaware of the potentially serious impact treatment can have on theirbones.

Dr. Andrew Poklepovic says it begins with the hormone estrogen. He says most breast cancer treatment blocks estrogen production.

While the hormone gives women strong bones, it fuels certain types of breast cancer. Dr. Poklepovic says when you stop the hormone production you can actually accelerate the loss of bone density.

The result is osteoporosis, the brittle bone disease.

Burton says bone scans show she has the condition; one reason why these exercises are important for her.

Burton says what really is helping her build her strength is the strength training.

While cancer treatment has weakened her bones, Burton says she has no regrets.

She says thankfully the end result is that she’s a four and a half year survivor because of it.

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