05.13 Should we evaluate the bone mineral density in patients with head and neck tumours?

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The head and neck tumours are a heterogeneous group of diseases that affect the otolaryngology (ENT) sphere . It constitutes 2.9% of all new cancer cases. Predominantly affect older men aged 40 years. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, treatment with high doses of corticosteroids and malnutrition suffering after surgery and radiotherapy, involves a potential situation of accelerated bone loss in a young population with good long-term prognosis.


To describe the characteristics regarding risk factors and osteoporotic disease in patients with head and neck tumours.

Material and methods

An Observational study of a case series of patients with tumours of the head and neck joint monitoring in consultations of Rheumatology and Medical Oncology Hospital Valme area. We collected the following variables; age, sex, risk factors for osteoporosis and osteoporotic fracture,

Material and methods

lateral radiography of lumbar and thoracic spine, and lumbar spine and hip bone densitometry


50 patients diagnosed whith head and neck tumours were included. Of these, 100% were male, with a mean age of 62 years at present. The most frequent location was the larynx in 55% of cases, followed by a 7% for those of tonsils and other locations of the oral cavity . Approximately a 16% of patients had a history of gastrointestinal pathology


In relation to risk factors for both disease, tumour and osteoporosis we found :


Also found two patients with vertebral fractures, one with osteoporosis and the second with osteopenia.


Finally in relation to tumour pathology, 10% were stage II, candidates for treatment with radiation therapy compared with 90% remaining subsidiary of intensive treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy and high-dose corticosteroids.


In our sample, we found that up to 16.6% of patients and 7.1% had osteopenia or osteoporosis at baseline. Assuming that during treatment, they will suffer about 16% of loss weight, attached to treatment with high-dose corticosteroids, would justify develop measures for primary prevention of osteoporosis with a study and treatment of these patients.

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