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A bone densitometry, also called a DXA or DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan, is an imaging test that measures bone density. This radiology exam can be used to check if an individual has osteoporosis, is likely to develop osteoporosis or is prone to bone fractures.

What happens during a DXA scan?

DXA scans require a patient to lie still on a table while X-ray equipment moves around them to create an image. The level of radiation exposure is minimal; however, this type of scan is typically not performed on pregnant women. Before receiving a DXA scan, you should also let your physician know if you recently had a barium exam or another imaging scan that used contrast material. To prepare for your scan, you should avoid taking calcium supplements for at least a day beforehand. Additionally, on the day of your exam, you should:

  • Wear comfortable clothing to your appointment and expect to change into a gown for the exam
  • Remove all jewelry, glasses and any other metal objects

Following your test, a radiologist will review and analyze the results of your bone density scan. This information may be used to confirm a diagnosis or to inform your treatment plan. If you have any questions before or after your scan, it’s best to discuss them with a physician.

Can I receive a bone density scan at Moffitt Cancer Center?

Moffitt offers a comprehensive range of diagnostic, treatment and supportive care services for patients with all types of cancer.  We currently offer DXA scans at:

Moffitt McKinley Outpatient Center
10920 N. McKinley Drive, Tampa, FL 33612
Monday – Friday | 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Our multispecialty team includes radiologists and other imaging specialists who can perform and analyze a variety of imaging tests, including DXA scans. If your physician has recommended that you receive a DXA scan, you can schedule an appointment at Moffitt by calling 1-888-663-3488 or completing a new patient registration form.