• Dexa Scan Questions...

    Asked by Alyce on Friday, September 21, 2012

    Dexa Scan Questions...

    Oncologist has ordered a Dexa scan, I started chemo last April and finished up the end of July, I go for my 1st dexa scan in October......from what I have read, they should have done this at the beginning of chemo (actually before) due to chemo side effects on the bones......anyone want to jump in on this one?

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • lynn1950's Avatar

      I had a Dexa scan after I finished chemo. I think it was to rule out bone metastases, since I was experiencing pain in my tailbone. Thankfully, the scan was negative for cancer! I'm not sure that this scan is always given post-chemo.

      over 8 years ago
    • ruthieq's Avatar

      Dexa scan is to monitor the thickness in the bones, or bone density. Because many people are hormone positive, they give either Tamoxifen or Aromatase Inhibitors (if post menopausal) to counter estrogen in the body. These drugs tend to leach calcium and thin the bones mostly the long bones and pelvic areas/hips. It has nothing to do with chemo side effects because chemo affects the bone marrow not the bones themselves. Usually people have these scans starting age 50 if you have family history of osteoporosis, or 60 for regular folks. Dexan scan takes about 20-30 mins and is not painful or distressing. Just have to lie still on a fairly comfortable table...

      over 8 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar

      I always ask my oncologist these questions, as I literally have trusted him with my life. He's a wise man for one so young... (He's your age.) But he was 46 when I met him. ANYWAY... I've had almost two full years of chemo in 06, 07.... My bone density prior was "that of a 30 year old" The most recent one (done last year as part of my physical) showed the same result. My regular doctor ordered them, as I'll be 70 next May. IF you required chemo to kill the cancer, wouldn't you trade slightly weaker bones for life? I just know that I wanted to get rid of the cancer. I had Ovarian Cancer Stage IIIC after surgery was completed. (Stage IV prior) I did six cycles of I/v and I/P chemo... Hair gone, fingers and toes numb, fingernails felt like they were falling out... (the doctor said they could) I cut them short and they didn't. Then when my hair was about an inch long, He asked me to go for another round of chemo... Once a month for one more year... I did whatever he asked. I did question this one... I said "If I was your mother, would you ask me to take this chemo?" He said "If you were my mother, I'd Make You Take It!".... I did 13 more months.... Now my hair didn't all come back... but as I said, I'm 69 +. My nails are bad and break rapidly. (Have you tried acryllic nails") I can do anything... (except change the time on my watch) :) Now... I did trade some things... I'll never wear high heels again. My feet are numb, and occasionally they nurt...(a shooting pain here and gone rapidly... but quite a pain) I bought a very classy (My term) 'walking stick' It has an Eagle's head for a handle (bronze) and it's walnut, with bronze insets in the wood) Its all I need, and steadies me if I lose my balance. My hair... what the heck... I've found the most affordable wigs (PaulaYoung.com) and they even have a real hairline. It looks just like it's growing out of my scalp. I shower, towel dry my 'crew cut' and do makeup and pop on my wig... (I wear it all day) I wear my nice clothe all the time now. Jeans for casual, but... as I told the doctor that replaced my knees (damaged prior to chemo)... If I'm going to live... I'm going to walk... I danced at my grandson's wedding last month.

      Cancer is a painful challenge.. a difficult time. Put a positive spin on it. We had classes on Makeup to brighten up our lives... class was fun and I learned some things. I learned to get up, make up, and brighten up. Smiles are very important make up assets. I never let myself think defeat... I always saw myself in 'tomorrow'.

      I had a 39 lb. tumor removed, I'm sure it was there quite some time, It had metastized to my intestine and eurethea. I had gone for complete physicals for over 30 years... every year. I had been in two car accidents which had caused much back pain. It got missed until my back surgeon found it in a pre surgery MRI.... I thank God he did... after chemo was over I didn't require more that a simple procedure that removes the pain. We fought together to get rid of it, I asked God to lead me to where he wanted me to be.... And I ended up here on WhatNext? God bless you as you continue your journey!!

      over 8 years ago
    • lynn1950's Avatar

      i I apologize for sharing incorrect information. I did have a bone scan that was looking for cancer in my bones, but that was not the dexa scan. I have had dexa scans as well - to see if I have osteoporosis. I had a baseline scan at age 50 and was fine. After chemo and before Arimidex, I was showing as having osteopenia (pre osteoporosis), so I now take Boniva once a month. I have not had a scan to see if the Boniva has been effective over the past 4 years. I think I'll ask for a new scan at my next visit. Hope this clears up any confusion I may have caused!

      over 8 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      A dexa (aka bone density) scan is not the same as a bone scan and cannot detect or rule out cancer. It measures bone density. Most insurances, including medicare will only pay for a dexa scan every 1 to 2 years. Bone density is not affected by chemotherapy so there is no reason to have one prior to chemo therapy, or at least not to use as a baseline to compare to an after chemo bone density scan. Your scheduled dexa scan is more likely a function of your age or other risk factors for osteoporosis, not of having cancer.

      over 8 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I had my first dexa scan after I finished chemo and was starting AI's.....As long as I was on AI's I had annual dexa scans...since I quit the AI's I now have them every 2 years.....

      over 8 years ago
    • JudyS's Avatar

      I had a dexa scan about 6 months after my chemo had finished, but this was ordered by my regular doctor during a regular check-up visit - I had one previously and comparing the 2, there was no loss of bone - I was very grateful. You also need to have 1 to create the comparison for the next one, so it is good that you will have this done. I've had 2 "other" type of bone scans to check for cancer in my bones, due the bone pain I was having during and after chemo. Both of these scans came out well - no bone cancer. Hopefully, your news will be positive too.

      over 8 years ago

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