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Osteoporosis Screening Bone Densitometry

While not directly related to breast care, osteoporosis is a leading women's health concern. A bone density test makes sense as part of your routine health maintenance program. The Breast Care Center at Presbyterian/St. Luke's performs osteoporosis screening exams for Denver women, using bone densitometry (Dual X-ray Absorptiometry or DXA).

  • Approximately half of all women older than 50 experience osteoporosis – bone loss and brittleness. Osteoporosis can lead to bone fractures that rob you of mobility and, ultimately, independence. It is a silent disease essentially without visible symptoms.
  • New government recommendations for osteoporosis screening, specify that all women, 65 or older, get a routine bone density exam.
  • Any post-menopausal woman should be tested for osteoporosis if they have individual risk factors:
    • Parents that had bone fractures
    • A history of smoking or alcohol abuse
    • Slender frames
    • Caucasian ancestry

    Early detection through a bone density scan (DXA) is the best way to protect yourself against osteoporosis. It is a simple, painless and non-invasive procedure in which images of your spine and hip – and sometimes your wrist – are taken. Your bone mineral density or bone mass can be determined from these images. The information will let your doctor know if you need to take specific steps to protect your bone health.

    Preparing for and Having Osteoporosis Screening – Bone Densitometry (Dual X-ray Absorptiometry or DXA)

    A bone density scan (DXA) at the Breast Care Center at Presbyterian/St. Luke's does not require any special preparation and takes only 20 to 30 minutes.

    • Relax, your DXA technician is trained to make your osteoporosis screening go quickly and efficiently.
    • Wear comfortable clothing, preferably without metal buttons, buckles or zippers.
    • You will be asked to lie down on an exam table.
    • Bone densitometry requires that you lie perfectly still while an arm passes over the test area.
    • A board-certified radiologist will examine and interpret the bone density test images and communicate the results to your physician within a few days. You will also get written results in the mail.

    All bone density scans are read and evaluated by radiologists in our Denver facility. Our Radiation Right® safety program follows nationally approved safety protocols that prevent accidental or excessive exposure, helping to ensure that you receive the lowest effective dose of radiation.