St. Joseph Medical Center is open and COVID-19 visitor restrictions still apply.

Learn More

News

August 24, 2021

Keys to Women’s Health: Navigating Breast Cancer and Osteoporosis

Breast cancer and osteoporosis are two common conditions prevalent in women. The likelihood of a successful outcome is often dependent on the early detection of both diseases. 

“As a general rule, women should start having regular mammograms around the age of 40, and bone density scans around age 65,” said Anuradha Aparasu, MD, an internal medicine specialist with Steward Medical Group.

This guidance changes if a woman has a family history of breast, ovarian, and colon cancer since all three cancers have the same mutation.  Aparasu said she typically advises women to start breast cancer screenings five years before a family member was initially diagnosed. 

“So, for example, if a woman’s aunt were diagnosed when she was 37, the woman would need to start having mammograms at age 32 since she’s at increased risk,” said Aparasu. 

When women are five years beyond menopause, they need bone density scans, which determine how strong the bones are and whether or not a woman is prone to fractures. 

If a woman is underweight, is on certain medications such as steroids, drinks alcohol or smokes regularly, she could be at increased risk of developing osteoporosis. Therapies used to treat breast cancer also put women in this category. These women may need bone density tests conducted at an earlier age. 

“When women take charge of their health, they can better care for the ones who depend on them,” said Aparasu. “Taking time for routine
screenings is a great first step.”

For more questions about your health and necessary screenings, make an appointment with Dr. Aparasu today by visiting https: https://bit.ly/3ycAMT9