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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


bone mineral density  listen  (... MIH-neh-rul DEN-sih-tee)

  A measure of the amount of minerals (mostly calcium and phosphorous) contained in a certain volume of bone. Bone mineral density measurements are used to diagnose osteoporosis (a condition marked by decreased bone mass), to see how well osteoporosis treatments are working, and to predict how likely the bones are to break. Low bone mineral density can occur in patients treated for cancer. Also called BMD, bone density, and bone mass.