We are done building our bone strength around age 18. We maintain it during our 20's, and start to slowly lose it in our mid-30's. Women start to lose it rapidly at menopause because of the drop in estrogen levels. There are lots of major and minor risk factors - but the one that stands out for cancer survivors is early menopause (before age 45, typically caused by chemo).
What to do? Make sure you are getting enough Calcium, Vitamin D and exercise. The amount varies depending on your age, but a post-menopausal woman should get 1500mg Calcium and 1000 IU's of Vitamin D each day.
Your body makes vitamin D when you are in the sun, but apparently you need your arms and legs exposed, no sunblock, for 5-20 minutes, between the hours of 10 and 2. Not many of us Canadians can do that year round. Most people need to take a mulit-vitamin or supplement to get enough.
The physiotherapist was there to tell us that physical activity helps to keep bones strong - both weight-bearing exercises like walking and running, and resistance/strength training like free weights and push-ups.
They didn't recommend any specific multi-vitamin, just had us all bring whatever we take so we could see how much was in it and think about how much we're getting in our food. My multi-vitamin has 400mg of calcium and 200 IU of Vitamin D. I drink 2 glasses of milk a day, but that still doesn't get me there. I'm going to look for a different multi-vitamin or take some extra calcium and vitamin D...