Exercise is good for your bones. Weight on you bones actually stimulates them to lay down more bone.
Screening for osteoporosis is mostly done using bone density testing such as DXA scanning. This is a type of X-ray that involves minimal radiation exposure. It is the most reliable method used. Other screening tools include pDXA, ultrasound and QCT.
For a DXA scan, you lie on a table while the X-ray checks your bone density. The test does not require sedation. There is no discomfort. The X-ray detector sends information to a computer. The computer calculates the results and reports them as a T and Z score. The T score value compares your bone to young adults. Z score is used only if you are less than 18 years old and it compares your bone with individuals of your same age.
Score higher than -1 can be interpreted as normal bone density.
Score between -1 and -2.5 is referred to as osteopenia (decreased bone density but not osteoporosis).
Score lower than -2.5 is considered osteoporosis. If you have fracture, then you are called established osteoporosis.
If you are pregnant, you cannot get a DXA scan as the minimal exposure to ionizing radiation, although harmless to you, can potentially harm your fetus.
American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recommends BMD screening for all breast cancer women at high risk:
- If you are older than 65 years, or younger than 65 but older than 60 years with a family history of fractures.
- If your body weight is less than 70 kg (approximately 154 lbs).
- If you have previous non traumatic fracture.
- If you are postmenopausal and treated with aromatase inhibitor drugs.
- If you are premenopausal but have ovarian failure.