Friday, October 31, 2008
Medical Reports: Bone Density
Bone scans are usually used to check for osteoporosis, but now researchers say they could be one of the best predictors of breast cancer. In today's Healthcast, Seven's Christine Cruz explains why having strong bones may actually put older women at a higher risk for the deadly disease.
WSVN -- At 64, two-time breast cancer survivor Ilya Sloan doesn't ask, "why me?" but she has often wondered, "What did I do?"
Ilya Sloan: "We definitely ask these questions of ourselves. What did we do? Did we have a role in this?"
She may soon have an answer. Researchers say results of a routine bone density test could provide an important clue in predicting breast cancer risk in older, post menopausal women.
Zhao Chen, PhD, MPH, Epidemiologist: "What we're showing in the study is that bone density may be an indicator or a marker of something else, which may link to breast cancer risk."
An eight-year study of 10,000 post-menopausal women looked at factors like age, race, history and bone density to estimate lifetime breast cancer risk. The finding: older women with high bone density are twice as likely to develop breast cancer.
Dr. Zhao Chen: "High bone density is a marker of increased risk for breast cancer. We can use that piece of information to predict your breast cancer risk in the future."
For Ilya, every study holds the promise for earlier intervention and the hope that future generations won't have to go through what she did.
Ilya Sloan: "That's the hope for my daughter and my granddaughter, that we will be able to prevent, and if it occurs, cure this disease."
Doctors say the first line of prevention: education, so they're urging all women to ask about bone scans when they go to have their yearly mammograms.