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Bone density tests??

jo jo's picture
jo jo
Posts: 1175
Joined: Jun 2010

I was told i needed a bone density test? How do they test this and does it hurt?

HeartofSoul's picture
HeartofSoul
Posts: 732
Joined: Dec 2009

Jo Jo, first, did you mean bone density test or bone scans? Bone density tests are not the same as bone scans. Bone scans require an injection beforehand and are usually used to detect fractures, cancer, infections and other abnormalities in the bone

A bone density test determines whether you have osteoporosis or are at risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become more fragile and more likely to break.

A bone density test uses X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone. A bone density test is a fairly accurate predictor of your risk of fracture

Doctors use bone density testing to:

■Identify decreases in bone density before you break a bone
■Determine your risk of broken bones (fractures)
■Confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis if you've experienced broken bones
■Monitor osteoporosis treatment

The higher your bone mineral content, the denser your bones are. And the denser your bones, the stronger they generally are and the less likely they are to break.

jo jo's picture
jo jo
Posts: 1175
Joined: Jun 2010

Heartofsoul... now that you bring it up...im not sure. (sorry hard to determine if its a blonde moment or chemo brain moment)
But heres the scoop...I went to the dentist today and ive never seen this dentist before and hes very young and im not sure yet if i trust this kids or not...he said something about the chemo may have caused a couple teeth to loose their density???? Can chemo do that? Do i have the wrong terminology...would the test be a bone density test or bone scan?
By the way WOW!!! It sounds like you did your homework on this, and i really feel foolish not paying more attention to what he said.

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 3874
Joined: Oct 2009

Sounds like he wants you to do a bone density test which is just xrays so it doesn't hurt at all. Chemo can cause bone loss and so can some hormone thearpies such as the aromatase inhibitors (arimidex, femara, and aromasin).

My endocrinologist recommends a bone density test once a year while on arimidex. Many recommend a bisphosphonate (boniva, fosamax) to help if you are at risk.

A couple of links:

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/NWS/content/NWS_1_1x_Chemotherapy_Causes_Bone_Loss_in_Young_Women_.asp

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16986348

Hope this helps!

jo jo's picture
jo jo
Posts: 1175
Joined: Jun 2010

Thanks Cynthia for the web sites...your info helps!

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3295
Joined: Oct 2009

The bone density test is just like an xray. You just lay down on a table and the machine moves over you.

bjmom1's picture
bjmom1
Posts: 152
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi JoJo,

The test do not hurt. To me it is a another xray.

MyTurnNow's picture
MyTurnNow
Posts: 2694
Joined: Aug 2009

JoJo, if it's a bone "density" test, it doesn't hurt at all. It simply a matter of lying on a table with a scanner that scans your bones. I think it's mainly from the neck area down. There is no prep involved. I am not certain on the bone loss in your mouth from chemo, but I guess anything is possible. I had the bone density test, I think in part, because of my age (55) and I was being prescribed Arimidex. Good luck!!

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 7864
Joined: Aug 2005

To choose which hormone blocker I would use. The AI's (Arimidex, Aromasyn) tend to impede bone density. Tamoxifen not as much.

These other wonderful ladies are right, it doesn't hurt a bit. AND you get to keep your CLOTHES ON!!!! YEA!!! NO partial hospital gowns!!!

For me, it highlighted that I had full-on osteoporosis. We started Actonel (like boniva), calcium, and Tamoxifen as a result.

Fast forward 4 years: 2 subsequent scans show that my bones are recovering!! And, this past January, I fell while skating on the canal in front of my house in Holland. I went to the Dutch version of ER, and they said that usually a fall like this breaks many of the arm bones, and all it did on me was a small crack in my elbow. The docs were amazed to hear I suffered from osteoporosis.

You need to send your dentist a fruit bouquet as thanks (candy to a dentist would sort of set the wrong mood, don't you think? ROFLMAO!).

Hugs, Kathi

KayNYC's picture
KayNYC
Posts: 495
Joined: Mar 2010

Bone density test aka DEXA does not hurt. It is a scan and doesn't take long to do either. Have had several over the past few years as I have Osteopenia and will be starting Arimidex soon.Go glad your dental appt led to your getting this important information.
Hugs,K

jo jo's picture
jo jo
Posts: 1175
Joined: Jun 2010

WHAT...a test you actually get to keep your clothes on for!!!!
Ya Kathi they may frown on candy...my dentist looks like hes never had any before...cuz his teeth can glow in the dark and straight as an arrow!

Noel's picture
Noel
Posts: 3101
Joined: Apr 2009

Yes, we keep our clothes on for the bone density test. Surprise! LOL

It is totally painless, you just lay there.

Good luck with your dentist too Jojo!

♥ Noel

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3295
Joined: Oct 2009

You get to keep your clothes on jojo! No stupid gown! haha

Rague
Posts: 3261
Joined: Aug 2009

I always have to unzip my jeans and pull them down past my hips.

Susan

fauxma's picture
fauxma
Posts: 3531
Joined: Dec 2008

Rague,
You are correct. If you have zippers or metal that has to be out of the range of the test. I always wear sweats, jogging pants, and a plain tee shirt and no jewelery. Then I don't have to lower or remove anything but it is simple to pull down the pants a bit if you should be wearing zipper pants.
Stef

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

Actually it was explained to me that dry mouth is truly the problem that causes early decay and poor strength to our teeth. I think as well which I have experienced first hand if in pain we tend to clench our teeth or grind them and too is very hard on them. I was in pain for years and found myself doing this and still do as a response to pain.
Yes of course if you are having pain in bones then checking for osteo and possible reasons for the pain. Bone density test seem to be very common after treatments are concluded.
I am not sure might get a shot that is a radiation dye can't remember on that one though with my lasting chemo brian. LOLOL
Tara

Rague
Posts: 3261
Joined: Aug 2009

Yeah - just me but I only wear my 2 pair of sweats either at home on cold nights or at the gym on cold days (OR over my thermies, under my jeans and at least a hooded sweatshirt which are under my snowsuit when I have to be outside in the winter - basically twice daily. I look like a walking black snowman (my snowsuit is black.) Remember I'm in the "South" - South DAKOTA that is.LOL) Gotta wear jeans/jean shorts well other than to Church - then skirt/dress. Depending on the season, I have either a turtle neck, t-shirt or tank top on so that doesn't have to come off - nor does undies - just lower the jeans.

Susan

susie09's picture
susie09
Posts: 2933
Joined: Jul 2009

I kept my jeans on during my bone density test. Isn't it strange how we all differ in our tests, treatments etc?

I know that for a MRI there can be no metal in the room where the test is being done.

♠♣ Susie ♠♣

Rague
Posts: 3261
Joined: Aug 2009

Basically, a bone density scan is an X-ray, similar to having your wrist, ankle, whatever x-rayed after an injury. There is no dye injected or 'stuff' to drink. You lay on the table, the scan runs (my hip area is all that's every been scanned) you get up and are gone. It is not involved with nuclear scans which do require no metal in the area.

susie09's picture
susie09
Posts: 2933
Joined: Jul 2009

I know...lol

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 7864
Joined: Aug 2005

You know, I NEVER like to miss an opportunity to do a naked happy dance...

ROFLMAO!!!

Hugs, Kathi

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

The test for bone density is simple. I just laid on the table and the xray machine glided over me. No pain, no disrobing. It is the easiest test for us as the others said.

Luck to you,

Angie

jo jo's picture
jo jo
Posts: 1175
Joined: Jun 2010

I got my Bone density scan today...it was a breeze just like ya all said and i got to keep my clothes on (except for pullin down the jeans a little) I just wont know the results for a couple days. I talked to my doctor about my teeth and your right it was caused by dry mouth...which the chemo caused.
Its amazing the stuff you learn in here...thanks everyone!

HeartofSoul's picture
HeartofSoul
Posts: 732
Joined: Dec 2009

Im just curious, have you noticed any difference with your eyes and specifically if their too dry or feeling like your tear film/cornea and inside/corner of eyes contain more fluid/tears than before you started treatment?

Do they itch, feel like sandy particles in them, burn, or feel aggrevating in any way?

Many times chemo can cause Dry Eye either during or after treatment is done. Why? becuase your eye glands produce tears constantly to moisten your tear film and chemo targets the fastest dividing cells in your body, one being the tears your glands produce

jo jo's picture
jo jo
Posts: 1175
Joined: Jun 2010

Yes Heartofsoul...I still have problems with my eyes and they werent like this before chemo. I feel like i have a film over my eyes or something in them that causes the blurry vision...constantly blinking and tryin hard to put it into focus and they always itched and were sore where my eyelashes are (were) but the soreness i dont know if that was from loosing the eyelashes or not.

HeartofSoul's picture
HeartofSoul
Posts: 732
Joined: Dec 2009

try Genteal as needed OTC $10 a bottle, it will help. Also look into restasis
(prescription) to help your eyes produce more tears. i doubt its your eyelashes.

keep eye lids clean too while taking shower, use pads made for them in drug store.

most med oncologists dont even bring it up as they are focused on other symtpoms and addressing cancer

jo jo's picture
jo jo
Posts: 1175
Joined: Jun 2010

Thanks for the advise heartofsoul!

apple25
Posts: 14
Joined: Jun 2010

I had one about a month ago. It's just like any other scan. You lay on a table with you legs on a square pillow while this sort of xray machine scans your spine, it only takes 10 minutes.
Your doctor gets the results in a few days.

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