Bone mineral density in women newly diagnosed with breast cancer: a prospective cohort study

Merav Fraenkel, Victor Novack, Yuval Mizrakli, Michael Koretz, Ethel Siris, Larry Norton, Tali Shafat, David B. Geffen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Estrogen may have opposing effects on health, namely increasing the risk of breast cancer and improving bone health by increasing bone mineral density (BMD). The objective of this study was to compare dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) BMD between women newly diagnosed with breast cancer and matched controls without breast cancer. Women newly diagnosed with breast cancer treated between April 2012 and October 2017 were prospectively enrolled. A control group was established of women with negative mammography or breast ultrasound, matched 1:1 by age, body mass index, parity, and the use of hormone replacement therapy. All those included had DXA BMD, and lab assessments at enrollment. Of 869 women with newly diagnosed breast cancer, 464 signed informed consent. Of the 344 who completed the study protocol, 284 were matched to controls. Overall, the mean age was 58 years. Compared to the control group, for the breast cancer group, the mean vitamin D level was lower (48.9 ± 19.0 vs. 53.8 ± 28.8 nmol/L, p = 0.022); and mean values were higher of total hip BMD (0.95 ± 0.14 vs. 0.92 ± 0.12 g/cm2, p = 0.002), T score (−0.38 ± 1.17 vs. −0.68 ± 0.98, p = 0.002), and Z score (0.32 ± 1.09 vs. 0.01 ± 0.88, p < 0.001). Among the women with breast cancer, no correlations were found of baseline BMD with tumor size or grade, nodal involvement, or breast cancer stage. We concluded that women with newly diagnosed breast cancer tend to have higher BMD than women with similar characteristics but without breast cancer. This implies that BMD might be considered a biomarker for breast cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
Journalnpj Breast Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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