Why it matters for patients

Worldwide, it is estimated that a fracture, due to osteoporosis, occurs every 3 seconds. This is a condition in which bones become thinner, fragile and more prone to breaks. For those that have cancer or have undergone certain cancer therapies like chemotherapy, radiation therapy and medications such as corticosteroids, they are at a higher risk of osteoporosis. It is an underlying cause of pain, long-term disability and premature death and yet the condition remains severely undiagnosed and undertreated. It is a particular risk for men and women in treatment, as it negatively affects bone health.

Men and women undergoing prostate or breast cancer treatment are also at risk due to the loss of hormones which contributes to bone loss. The cancer itself may also stimulate the production of osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone. In addition, low body weight, undernutrition and prolonged bed rest can also have an impact. In order to prevent this, early steps must be taken to maintain bone health. Recognising the need for action, the International Osteoporosis Foundation has published a charter for patients, family and carers to sign, in order to raise the profile of this disease and the needs of patients.

“Around the world, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men aged fifty years and over are at risk of an osteoporotic fracture’’

International Osteoporosis Foundation

How to make the most of this tool

The International Osteoporosis Foundation, the world’s largest NGO dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis, created the Global Patient Charter calling for the rights to diagnosis, patient care, patient voice and support. Through this charter, those who sign it call for timely and accurate assessment of risk and diagnosis, access to effective intervention and treatment, involvement in planning long-term management and care and support from society and healthcare providers.

This is a call not only for patients and those around them, but also for healthcare professionals, policy-makers, healthcare authorities and national governments to show commitment and support and help drive change. Your signature will help raise the profile of this disease and make it a global health priority. We invite you to sign the charter or download the documents below to create your own petition to encourage positive changes and more support for those who need it.

ECPC IOF Global Patient Charter infographic