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The frontline of defense against many diseases is an effective screening method that catches the disease early enough to enhance and save lives. For breast cancer screening, women know that means getting a yearly mammogram after age 40. And many women do. About 67 percent of women over 40 have had a mammogram in the past two years. Increased compliance and improving technology has decreased the death rate from breast cancer an average of 1.8 percent per year in the 1990s.

But another important screening technique goes largely unused ? and it could save millions of women, and men, from the pain and debilitation of osteoporosis as they age. Only 30 percent of women over age 50 are receiving bone density screenings. Experts say that new drug therapies and technological advances make osteoporosis screening more valuable than ever. But the word is simply not making it to all of the women and men (20 percent of osteoporosis cases are in men) who could benefit.

Boning up on Osteoporosis
“There’s an awful lot of people not being tested,” says Paul D. Miller, M.D., clinical professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (Denver) and medical director of the Colorado Center for Bone Research.

Please refer to the May 2001 issue for the complete story. For information on article reprints, contact Martin St. Denis