Bone Density?

I have spoken with my breast care team Ref extreme joint pain in my hip, shoulder and back.
I asked about a bone density check- but was told that they don’t do that check in my local cancer hospital. Why would that be?

Hello Lambin,

Thanks for posting.

Joint aches and pains are a very common side effect of hormone therapies the aromatase inhibitor (AI) drugs. You don’t mention if you are on these.

Bone density loss does not tend to cause joint pain. Osteoporosis (bone density loss) can increase the risk fractures which is often the first symptom.

Some women with breast cancer will be recommended to have a bone density (DEXA) scan. The criteria for this are explain in page 30 of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines. Not all hospitals have the facility to offer a DEXA scan but can arrange an appointment elsewhere if necessary

It might help to call our helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information if necessary. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK -prefix 18001).

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Best wishes


Breast Care Nurse

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