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Life after cancer

This group is for cancer survivors and people who have finished treatment. It is a space to discuss things like the physical and emotional after effects of cancer, returning to work, or trying to move on with your life.

DEXA scan anxiety

Posted by

Hi all.

I’m 35 and a year post treatment for breast cancer. I had chemo, mastectomy and radiotherapy and now on zolidex and exemestane. For that reason, I had a DEXA scan today, only my anxiety about spread has hit the roof. The radiographer left the room during the scan as she said she needed to collect a print out of my imaging, so now I am convinced something is wrong. Why would she need to leave the room half way through, she said it in such an unusual way. She told me to make sure I chased the results and no other scans had print outs. 

I am convinced she saw some shadowing on the scan and fearing the worst.

Anyone experienced anything like this? Wish they could just give you a guide there and then so we knew.



Posted by


I'm sorry to hear how anxious you're feeling after going for a scan today.

I'm not sure that anyone is going to be able to answer your question as to why the radiographer left the room during your scan but I think it would be a good idea to also post this in the main breast cancer group as there may be a person there who has had this happen to them. Clicking on the link I've created will take you there.

When you have a minute it would be really useful if could pop something about your journey so far into your profile as it helps others when answering or looking for someone with a similar diagnosis. It also means that you don't have to keep repeating yourself. To do this click on your username and then select 'Edit Profile'. You can amend it at any time and if you're not sure what to write you can take a look at mine by clicking on my username.


 "Never regret a day in your life, good days give you happiness, bad days give you experience"

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Posted by

, sorry you are having such anxiety, well known to all of us.

DEXA scans are to determine bone density, to  check  that you are not developing osteopenia, or osteoporosis. This can happen with Exemestane, and something can be done if it is present. They usually get a printout which gives a score of your bone density. It all has to be read by the expert, and you get the result eventually, but you do have to,chivvy them a bit. The scan is not to show bone secondaries..

Good luck!

Onwards and flatwards (don't do hills) and keep walking if you can!

Posted by


Please be assured a Dexa Scan (info link) has absolutely nothing to do with cancer spread - It is a totally different type of bone scan to the one you may be thinking of ?

As seaspirit mentioned all it does is measure bone density as the meds you are on can cause bone thinning or osteopaenia and a Dexa Scan checks to see if this is starting to happen. If the readings from the printout puts you in the at risk range you will be given some form of calcium building meds like Adcal+ Vit D3

J had 3 Dexa scans while taking Letrozole - there is nothing to get alarmed about honest 

Take care, G n' J

Posted by

Many thanks for all your replies that has definitely helped me become more reassured.

I guess I am just panicking she saw some shadowing or something unusual on the scan. Let’s hope not.

many thanks again!