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Bone Density Test For Cancer

Lifestyle Changes For Healthy And Strong Bones

What is a bone mineral density test?

Fortunately, your lifestyle can positively impact your bone health for decades to come. Consider the following to keep your bones healthy and strong both during and after breast cancer treatment.

Diet and Nutrition

A balanced diet of whole foods supports good bone health. Ideally, you should get most of your essential nutrients from your diet, rather than supplements, and enjoy a variety of colorful whole foods. Good nutrition will not only keep your bones strong but also help you keep up your weight, also important for preventing fractures.

The following three nutrients are especially important for bone health and should be a part of your daily diet:

  • Calcium: Dairy products contain the most calcium per serving size. Calcium is also found in dark-green leafy vegetables, fish with bones, dried beans and peas, and calcium-fortified juice and cereal. Try to consume one calcium-rich food per meal, and consider taking a calcium supplement. The amount of calcium you need changes with age so make sure you are consuming an adequate amount for your current needs.
  • Magnesium: This mineral helps your body regulate calcium and vitamin D and is found in green vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes, whole grains, and avocados. The Recommended Dietary Allowance is 320 mg for adult women.
  • Looking for more information on nutrition? Download our free Nutrition Care for Breast Cancer Patients eBook.


    Supplements and Vitamins

    Alcohol and Smoking

    What Happens During A Bone Scan

    A bone scan may be performed on an outpatient basis or as part of yourstay in a hospital. Procedures may vary depending on your condition andyour doctor’s practices.

    Generally, a bone scan follows this process:

  • You may be asked to remove any clothing, jewelry, or other objects that may interfere with the procedure.

  • If you are asked to remove clothing, you will be given a gown to wear.

  • An intravenous line will be started in the hand or arm for injection of the tracer.

  • The tracer will be injected into your vein. The tracer will be allowed to concentrate in the bone tissue for a period of one to three hours. You may be allowed to walk around or even leave the facility during this time. You will not be hazardous to other people, as the tracer emits less radiation than a standard X-ray.

  • During the waiting period, you will need to drink several glasses of water to help flush out any tracer that does not concentrate into the bone tissue.

  • If your bone scan is being done to detect bone infection, a set of scans may be done immediately after the injection of the tracer. Another set of scans will be done after the tracer has been allowed to concentrate in the bone tissue.

  • When the tracer has been allowed to concentrate in the bone tissue for the appropriate amount of time, you will be asked to empty your bladder prior to the start of the scan. A full bladder can distort the bones of the pelvis, and may become uncomfortable during the scan, which may take up to an hour to complete.

  • Why Might You Have A Dexa Scan

    You might have this scan if youre having or have had cancer treatment that can cause your bones to get thinner and less dense. This makes them more at risk of breaking . This is known as osteoporosis.

    For example, women diagnosed with breast cancer may start a hormonal treatment called an aromatase inhibitor . The side effects of this type of drug includes an increased risk of developing osteoporosis later on.

    Your doctor might use an assessment tool to work out your risk of osteoporosis. The tool looks at a number of different factors including age, history of fractures, bone density, and other conditions you may have such as rheumatoid arthritis or type 1 diabetes.

    If you want to find out more about bone loss and sex hormones click on the below links.

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    Bone Density Test Results

    A bone density test determines the bone mineral density . Your BMD is compared to 2 normshealthy young adults and age-matched adults .

    First, your BMD result is compared with the BMD results from healthy 25- to 35-year-old adults of your same sex and ethnicity. The standard deviation is the difference between your BMD and that of the healthy young adults. This result is your T-score. Positive T-scores indicate the bone is stronger than normal negative T-scores indicate the bone is weaker than normal.

    According to the World Health Organization, osteoporosis is defined based on the following bone density levels:

    • A T-score within 1 SD of the young adult mean indicates normal bone density.

    • A T-score of 1 to 2.5 SD below the young adult mean indicates low bone mass.

    • A T-score of 2.5 SD or more below the young adult mean indicates the presence of osteoporosis.

    In general, the risk for bone fracture doubles with every SD below normal. Thus, a person with a BMD of 1 SD below normal has twice the risk for bone fracture as a person with a normal BMD. When this information is known, people with a high risk for bone fracture can be treated with the goal of preventing future fractures. Severe osteoporosis is defined as having a bone density that is more than 2.5 SD below the young adult mean with one or more past fractures due to osteoporosis.

    Does Higher Bone Density Make You Stronger


    Saying that higher bone density makes you stronger wont be wrong. Take the example of strength training that often leads to building muscle strength and mass, but it also contributes to bone density. The stronger your bones, the less is the chance for a fracture.

    The bone mass is often reduced due to inadequate nutrition, inactivity, and age-related changes, making them susceptible to break at any time. More clearly, people with lower bone masses are more likely to get a fracture than those with a good bone mass. The fractures can be caused while performing even a tedious task, such as after a minor fall or bending over to tie a shoelace.

    A bone density test successfully indicates if the bone mass or bone mineral density is compromised or not. As a person ages, it becomes more common for them to suffer from osteoporosis therefore, its best to get the test done on time rather than facing the consequences later.

    If youre thinking to increase your bone density, then here are some tips for you:

    The higher the bone density, the more youre off the hook to get osteoporosis. As people age, they tend to lose their bone mass, and an unhealthy lifestyle could also contribute to it. A bone density test must be done right away if youre witnessing any bone-related issues or if your bones have become fragile with time.

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    Whats Special About How Yale Medicine Treats Low Bone Density

    The doctors at the Yale Medicine Bone Center specialize in hard-to-diagnose cases. We offer a wide range of diagnostic tools that not only measure bone density, but other biochemical measures such as vitamin D levels.

    Much of our diagnosis is done in-house at the Yale Medicine Mineral Metabolism Lab.

    The physicians in the Yale Medicine Bone Center are recognized nationally and internationally for their expertise in osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease. Dr. Insogna is on the Board of Trustees of the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

    To make a diagnosis, our doctors work across departments and disciplines. We often put our heads together and recognize that what we’re seeing is not necessarily run-of the-mill and, therefore, requires something more than a run-of-the-mill treatment, says Dr. Insogna.

    In addition, patients at the Yale Medicine Bone Center get access to treatments through clinical trials that are not yet available to the wider public.

    Tests For Bone Cancer

    The information here focuses on primary bone cancers that most often are seen in adults. Information on Osteosarcoma, Ewing Tumors , and Bone Metastasis is covered separately.

    Primary bone cancers are usually found when signs or symptoms a person is having prompt them to visit a doctor.

    Symptoms and the results of physical exams and imaging tests might suggest that a person has bone cancer. But in most cases, doctors need to confirm this by taking and testing a tissue or cell sample .

    Its important for doctors to distinguish primary bone cancers from cancers that have spread to the bones from other parts of the body , as well as from bone tumors that are benign and from other types of bone problems. These conditions might need different types of treatment.

    Accurate diagnosis of a bone tumor often depends on combining information about which bone and what part of the bone is affected, how it looks on imaging tests, and what the tumor cells look like under a microscope.

    If a bone cancer is found, other tests might then be needed to learn more about it.

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    Tips For Improving Your Bone Health

    • Incorporate foods with calcium rich nutrients into your daily diet.
    • Have a weekly exercise routine you can commit doing.
    • Stop smoking and drinking any types of alcohol.

    If you are unsure about specific ways to improve your bone health, ask your doctor what is best for your health. Taking action today greatly reduces long term risk factors.

    What You Should Know

    ARA Bone Density Imaging Procedure Part 1 The Exam

    Your healthcare provider may recommend a DEXA scan to test for osteoporosis or thinning of your bones.

    Screening for osteoporosis is recommended for women who are 65 years old or older and for women who are 50 to 64 and have certain risk factors, such as having a parent who has broken a hip. However, there are other risk factors for osteoporosis besides age and gender, such as some intestinal disorders, multiple sclerosis, or low body weight. Your healthcare provider may recommend a DEXA scan if you have any of these other risk factors. DEXA scans should be used when the health benefits outweigh the risks. Talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns you have before a DEXA scan.

    • Nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men over the age of 50 are affected by osteoporosis.
    • Osteoporosis increases the risk for broken bones and can have serious effects in older adults.

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    How Does A Dexa Scan Work

    DEXA scans measure the mineral content in certain bones, such as the hip, spine and/or wrist. It works this way:

  • You will be asked to lie on a special DEXA x-ray table. The technologist will help position your correctly and use positioning devices such as foam blocks to help hold the desired position.
  • As the arm of the DEXA machine passes over the body, IT uses two different x-ray beams. The beams use very little radiation to keep the test safer, and help to distinguish bone from other tissues.
  • The scanner translates the bone density measurement data into pictures and graphs. Bone is most easily seen in white, while the, fat and muscle tissue look like shadows in the background on the technologists computer monitor.
  • These results are then reviewed and interpreted by a radiologist or other physician trained in DEXA interpretation
  • Your healthcare provider is sent a copy of the written report to discuss with you and consider what treatment is most appropriate.
  • What Causes Osteoporosis

    As with many conditions, the risk of osteoporosis increases with age and is related to your family medical history. Another key factor is lower estrogen levels, which can be impacted by breast cancer treatment. Estrogen protects against bone loss so women who have gone through menopause, had their ovaries removed, or experienced various breast cancer treatments have an increased risk of osteoporosis. We will cover this topic in greater detail later in this guide.

    Other risk factors for osteoporosis include previous fractures not caused by injury, immobility, smaller size/body weight, certain medications and medical conditions, including diabetes, Crohns disease, celiac disease, and hyperthyroidism.

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    How The Scan Is Done

    During a DXA scan, you lie on your back on a couch while a scanner moves above your body. The amount of radiation from a DXA scan is much less than from a normal x-ray.

    The scan only takes a few minutes and is painless. It is important that there are no metal fastenings such as zips in the area being scanned. You may be asked to wear a hospital gown for the scan.

    The results of the scan will show whether you have:

    • normal bone density

    Should I Get A Bone Density Test

    DNA Osteoporosis Test â DNA Access Lab

    Q.I’m 65 years old and have never had any bone health issues. Should I get a bone density test?

    A. Bone density testing is a specialized x-ray technique used to diagnose osteoporosis , a condition that increases the lifetime risk of fracture by six times in men.

    Current guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force do not recommend routine bone density testing for men because studies have not conclusively shown that osteoporosis medications can prevent fractures in men. Men also have a lower fracture risk compared with women because they have a higher baseline bone mass and lose bone more slowly with age.

    Yet some medical societies disagree and recommend testing for men older than age 70. In addition, men at risk for osteoporosis may benefit by having a bone density test so they can adjust their lifestyle habits to help maintain bone strength and improve other aspects of their health.

    In addition to older age, risk factors for osteoporosis in men include excessive alcohol use , smoking, low testosterone levels, and treatment with corticosteroids .

    Both bone density and personal risk factors should be considered in deciding if osteoporosis medication is needed. One tool to calculate your fracture risk is known as FRAX .

    by William Kormos, M.D.

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    Can Osteoporosis Be Prevented Or Treated

    There are a range of ways to prevent and reduce further bone loss:

    Although osteoporosis cannot be cured, treatments are available to try to stop the bones losing more bone density and to make them less likely to fracture. You will be advised about any appropriate drug treatment and its possible side effects. The Royal Osteoporosis Society has more information on drugs to prevent and treat osteoporosis.

    How Accurate Are Dexa Scans

    DEXA scans offer a high degree of precision and accuracy. Medical experts consider DEXA scans to be an accurate test for diagnosing osteoporosis.

    Unlike x-ray machines, DEXA machines are checked daily for their ability to measure bone mineral accurately, and no two DXA machines are exactly alike. That is why your healthcare provider will insist that you have all of your DEXA tests done on the same machine.

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    Ever Wanted To Know Bone Density Versus Bone Scan

    Bones are the literal framework of our bodies. They protect our internal organs and store essential nutrients. Bones are necessary for movement, transmitting the force of muscle contractions. Blood cells are formed within our bones. Considering their importance, maintaining bone health and strength is a vital part of your overall health picture.

    Many medical conditions involve bone health. These may include fractures, wear and tear, inflammation or cancer. As we grow older, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis may develop. Various tests and examinations can be used to detect problems or even prevent them. Imaging techniques include bone density tests and bone scans. Each plays an important role in diagnosis and treatment of bone problems.

    A bone density test, also referred to as a DEXA scan, is a noninvasive test that measures calcium and other minerals in your bones. It measures the strength and thickness, or mass, of your bones. As we age, bones naturally become thinner. Osteopenia occurs when bones are thinner than normal. This places you at higher risk for the more progressive disease of osteoporosis, where bones become brittle. Osteoporosis generally affects those over the age of 65, especially women. Patients with osteoporosis can more easily develop bone fractures of the hips or wrists.

    Health Watch

    Maintain Your Bone Strength

    Osteoporosis: Bone Density Exam

    Exercising regularly, eating healthy foods, taking Vitamin D supplements are all good ways to keep your bones strong and prevent fractures and osteoporosis.

    Maintain your calcium intake, eat lots of salmon, green veggies like broccoli and spinach, and add weights to your exercise. Limit smoking and alcohol use.

    Mom would be proud.

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    Bone Density Test For On

    Are you planning to get a Dexa scan in NJ? A Dexa bone density test reveals your bones true condition and can help the doctor predict your disease efficiently. The final diagnosis is verified with the help of the test results.

    The test is also done frequently to keep a check on osteoporosis treatment. The condition can stick you to the bed or even make walking from one room to another very difficult. Its important to get the test on time if your doctor has recommended it to start the treatment right away.

    Several diagnostic centers provide excellent bone density scans, but not all of them are worth it. Its essential to look for some factors when you decide to get a bone density scan. The results can vary depending on the equipment, and one small error can upturn the whole diagnosis.

    Always check for reliability and affordability before choosing a test center. Its also important to look for the doctors and other staff members working in the center to ensure that you will get the best treatment from them.

    Always take your time to choose a diagnostic center for excellent results. You can also ask your doctor to recommend you to a test center. Ensure that you get the test done on time, so the doctor can instantly start the treatment.

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