Test for Bone Density

Test for Bone Density

Test for Bone Density I have an appointment for a bone density test .
Could anyone please tell me how the test is done?


Bone Density I had to have a bone scan before my operation to check my bone density. I had to have an injection in the arm then come back 4 hours later and lay on a table whilst a scanner moved over my body from head to toe, it was very boring and completely painless. Not sure if this is what you will have but sounds similar.


Hi Anthi I have had both a bone scan and a bone density test. The latter took about 20 mins and involved scanning the legs only. No preparation needed and a very quick and simple procedure.


thanks Many thanks for your replies Gaynor and Margaret.


Hi Anthi

I think that I had that. I had one day of endless tests so forget what most of them were for. It was at a department called ‘nuclear medicine’ I had had a cannula inserted for earlier tests and they injected a substance in my hand. I then went off for other tests and went back a few hours later (3 or 4 I think). You lie on a bed and a machine moves very slowly along your body, it then turns and scans underneath you. It was quite cold as there was air blowing from it,(but mine was in January, it might be nice having cool air blowing at this time of year!) I think it took about half an hour.

Hope it goes OK for you, not unpleasant (apart from the cannula)!

Take care Nicky x

Hi Nicky

thanks for your reply.
Best wishes

Anthi x

Bone Scan/Bone Density Test Hi Anthi,

I’ve had both a Bone Scan and a Bone Density Test. The Bone Scan (Nuclear Medicine) is the one where you have the injection and then have to come back a couple of hours later. It lasts about half an hour and is painless and quite bearable, you just have to lie still. I would happily have another. The Bone Density Test (Rheumatology) is even easier. Your height and weight will be checked and you are likely to be asked a few questions, such as the age when you started and finished your periods, if you have ever smoked, how much alcohol you drink and if you are currently on any medication. The Bone Density Test only takes about five minutes and the person doing the test stays in the room with you. You lie on a couch and a very small scanner moves up your body from your feet to around your waist/lower chest (if I remember correctly). It doesn’t come near your face and isn’t the slightest bit worrying or threatening. I was pleased that I was offered a Bone Density Test as it showed that I did not have any early signs of osteoporosis so was OK to take Arimidex. As this can sometimes cause osteoporosis it would not have been the best treatment for me if the result had been different. Don’t waste any time worrying about this one as it is so simple and straightforward. I know you get fed up of going for one thing after another but if they were all like this it would be so easy. I don’t know where you are with your treatment but, having finished all mine some time ago, I am having some difficulty ‘getting on with life again’. I want to be doing everything and to be 100% fit and healthy but know that I need to be patient and give it time. I hope that you’ve been reassured by the information that people have given you. If you have any other questions just ask.

Best wishes
Francine x

Hello Francine

Many thanks for your reply. The reason for my bone density test is the same as yours - because I’m going to be taking Aromasin or one of the other Aromatase Inhibitors. I’m a bit worried about their effect on my bones, not to mention the side effects, but I know they’re very good drugs.

I’m a bit behind you with my treatment. I finished chemo at the beginning of May and have nearly finished radiotherapy - just got 3 more to go and at the moment have a bright red, sore breast and a nasty attack of itchy prickly heat.

Are you going to be on Arimidex for the full 5 years? Are you having any side effects? Are you also being given one of the medications to help protect your bones?

I hope you’ll soon manage to ‘get on with life again’ and feel fit and healthy.

Best wishes
Anthi x