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NBHA-wclarke-052013

Will Clarke


Published on December 2, 2014

NBHA: NOF: HOLOGIC – Osteoporosis Awareness Campaign 2 Overview: Osteoporosis Awareness and DXA Testing Initiatives The stark reality of osteoporosis, along with its crippling effects on the human body, somehow fails to excite the medical community or strike fear within the souls of the masses. People, in general, along with many primary care physicians, fail to realize the enormity and impending threat of this disease. They are oblivious to the simplistic signs and symptoms that can ultimately link this disease to nearly anyone who is beyond midlife in age, those over fifty who have suffered a fracture, and even people younger in age who’s bone mass is dwindling away due to drug-induced osteoporosis. Osteoporosis, fittingly enough, is referred to as the silent killer, stealing your freedom, vanquishing your mobility and eventually, ending your life. Perception is everything. When someone mentions cancer, suddenly there is muddled silence, uneasy feelings and an ever-present fear. When a reference is made to osteoporosis, there is an indecisive, “what is that ” ? An incredulous ignorance of this disease permeates society and the devastating effects it bestows upon the body. This is another great example of what you don’t know, will most likely kill you. Surprisingly enough, more people will die from osteoporosis this year than both breast and prostate cancer combined. Although more than 10 million Americans are stricken with osteoporosis, there are nearly 35 million others who have low bone mass (osteopenia) which is a precursor to developing the disease. Physicians agree that osteoporosis is not only under diagnosed but also under treated. Those who are at risk fail to get referred for a 15-second DXA test. Simple DXA testing can establish the risk potential before the fracture ever occurs, yet only about 32% of those who could be tested are currently receiving DXA exams. In many instances, even after the patient suffers a low impact fracture (non-traumatic) which is a clear indicator of the disease, the patient still goes untested (Boyd, 2011). DXA is a diagnostic exam (low dose x-ray) utilized to diagnose