DXA scan essential to osteoporosis diagnosis, treatment
Did you know a simple scan can help women avoid a nasty break in their golden years? “Fifty percent of women over age 50 will have an osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime,” says Robert Recker, MD, head of Creighton University’s Osteoporosis Research Center. “Osteoporosis is the leading cause of admission into nursing homes. In fact, there are more osteoporotic fractures in this country among women than cases of breast cancer, heart attacks and strokes combined. The shame of it is that we can prevent it.”
That’s why Dr. Recker believes every woman over 50 should have a DXA scan. It doesn’t hurt and is the only way to know for sure if you have osteoporosis — a bone-weakening condition that often affects women after menopause, but can also be found in men and even children.
Using an enhanced form of X-ray technology, the DXA scan measures bone loss. It is generally performed on the lower spine and hips, and is essential in the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis. Because osteoporosis is difficult to reverse, prevention is the key to avoiding fractures.
“We have published research in humans from childhood to an advanced age and the best opportunity to get a strong skeleton is during childhood and adolescence,” Dr. Recker said. “That requires adequate calcium, adequate vitamin D and adequate physical activity.”