osteoporisis bone density scan

hi all, how long do the results of this test take?

Hi Alison

I had my bone density scan and the results the same day. After the scan I was seen by the Nurse Specialist who showed me the images and graphs. I didn’t have osteoporosis but my bones were osteopenic. She gave me some advice ( diet exercise mainly ) and I will have another scan in 2 years to see if there is any change.


Hi Jasmine, thank you so much for that, i do wish they would give us more information then they do!!! your a star

I had my bone density scan today and was told the results would take 4 weeks. Obviously things are not the same everywhere!

Hi Alison - I had my 3rd DEXA scan in Feb 2007, ordered by my bc surgeon, got results by letter a month later. I had the first DEXA in 1995 (Crohn’s/steroids for 38 yrs) which showed necrosis of the hips, but no medication was prescribed. I moved shortly afterwards from the Midlands to the South West, and my then gastro never followed it up. My 2nd DEXA was ordered by my gastro in 2001 (I was dx with bc in 2003) and this did show some bone thinning, and a separate bone scan showed osteo arthritis in both hips, hands and feet, but again, no meds offered.

Luckily my bc surgeon is on the ball, and as a result of the 3rd DEXA scan, done as I am on Arimidex, (which does not protect the bones as Tamoxifen does) this showed significant bone loss compared to the one done in 2001 and he wrote to my GP suggesting I be prescribed Alendronic Acid (Fosamax), a weekly bisphosphonate tablet, along with twice daily Calcichew/Vit.D tablets. My surgeon said I am osteopenic. As I had two spontaneous fractures in my feet last summer (one was a metatarsal break, leaving me in a wheelchair for 3 weeks, then a month on crutches) my surgeon is now rather concerned about continuing with Arimidex, which he wants me to do as my cancer was an invasive ductal tumour plus DCIS and had spread to the lymph nodes. He has referred me to a Professor of Endocrinology who has a specific interest in the side effects of Arimidex, whom I will see on 25th Feb. There is also a possibility I may be able to change from the weekly Alendronic Acid tablets to an annual infusion of Zoledronic Acid (done in hospital) which has a much better prognosis for preventing fractures.

This is all new to me, and although I posted here on this subject some weeks ago to see if anyone else is in a similar situation, I didn’t get any replies.
I must admit I was very surprised about this referral, but as I am also on weekly self injections of the cytotoxic chemo drug methotrexate for Crohn’s, this may have something to do with my surgeon’s concern.


i;ve had a lot go wrong re my onc, my surgeon has picked on things that need to be done, (the onc is now retired!!!) so i consider myself very lucky to have it done, my knees and hip and left shoulder are so painful, hope its just the arimidex and the other hormone drugs i have been on!!! thank you so much for your replies, and Liz i am so sorry that no one replied to you, but i am so glad you replied to me xxxxxxxxxxx

Hi Alison - I had my first DEXA scan in May 06 just as I switched from Tamoxifen to Exemastane and it was fine - my onc gave me the results when I next saw her. I think I am due another one this summer as we should have them every 2 years. Like Liz I have been on Fosamax since April 04 when I started on Zoladex and then had my ovaries out.Don’t seem to have any side effects from it and it builds up the bone I think - just has to be taken once a week in the morning on an empty stomach and you can’t eat or drink anything other that water for an hour or lie down for an hour. I think we should also be aiming for 1500mg of calcium a day - that is quite hard in a normal diet so also take a supplement of calcium.
Hope you don’t have to wait too long for the results.
I also get a bit clicky/achey especially on my knee joints and think it is due to mixture of pills I pop!!! I had a bone scan (a radio one not dexa one) last summer to check for secondaries when I was rediagnosed and all was fine.
How is your nipple now? Only 5 weeks to go until my next mastectomy - wish is was just over and done with!
Take care
Sarah x x x

Hi Sarah, half the nipple has died, so will just wait for the dead skin to go, still a bit gutted but i knew it could happen, but whats left looks very good, i see the surgeon again in two weeks, i forgot to ask if he was still going to tattoo it, i hope he is

Hi Alison - I bet you ae a bit gutted - perhaps when it is tattooed (if he does it) it will look ok? Don’t know much about this process yet - need to find out a bit more for later in the year.
Sarah x x x

Hi, i think once its tattooed then it will just look like the nipple is inverted a little, it looks a bit horrendous at the moment, dead skin is not nice, and its a bit crispy!!! i don’t regret getting it done though, now that the dressing is off it looks fine without a bra with a tee shirt on, and both sides really match well, you honestly wouldn’t think i had had surgery.