The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: November 4, 2010
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
I will have a double mastectomy next week. Someone told me I should get a bone density test and a range of motion (for arms) test. Is that correct?
Kathryn Schmitz, PhD, MPH, cancer rehabilitation researcher at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:
I would very much agree that it is a good idea to get a physical therapy evaluation prior to your surgery. This should, in my opinion, be standard of care for ALL breast cancer patients. Getting a bone density would be ideal, but likely not covered by insurance unless you are over 50. A referral to PT should be covered pretty much universally. If you can be seen by a certified lymphatic therapist, that would be great. To find one in your area, go to www.lymphnet.org. This will really assist that therapist with knowing how you have changed as a result of surgery. It may also help with planning radiation therapy if you have and range of motion limitations.
This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series, Life After Breast Cancer Webchat. View the entire transcript here.
May 20, 2010 - A bone mineral density test followed by selective use of alendronate for fracture prevention in men beginning androgen deprivation therapy for localized prostate cancer is cost-effective, according to research published in the May 18 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
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