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What Is a Bone?

A bone is a living tissue which grows and is regenerated continuously at about 10% every year. It’s made up primarily of collagen, a protein which gives the bone its framework and tensile strength.  It also contains calcium phosphate, which makes the bone hard. This mixture of calcium phosphate and collagen makes the bone flexible and robust enough to withstand stress and to bear weight. Over 99% of the calcium in the body is situated in the teeth and bones. The other 1% is in the blood.

In your entire lifetime, there is a constant removal of your old bone (resorption) and replacement with a new bone (formation).  In children and teenagers, the rate at which new bones are added is higher than the way old bones are removed. Because of that, bones become denser, heavier, and larger. The rate at which bone forms is usually lesser compared to the resorption of bones until you reach your topmost bone mass (maximum bone strength and density), in your mid-twenties.  At this stage, bone formation begins to happen slower than bone resorption. There is an accelerated bone loss in women in the first few years after their menopause, which continues into their post-menopause years.


What Types Of Diseases Have An Effect On The Bone?


Porous bone or osteoporosis is a type of disease which is characterised by the structural deterioration in the tissues of the bones resulting in low bone mass. This denotes that you may be more susceptible to fractures of the waist, hip, and spine. Osteoporosis sets in when the bone resorption happens too fast and the formation of bones are unable to keep up. It is more prevalent when the optimal mass of your bone was not attained during your bone-building years. One in every ten men and one in every four women above the age of sixty have osteoporosis, though the disease can be treated and preventable.

Paget’s Disease

This is a chronic disorder which causes deformed and enlarged bones. With Paget’s disease, the formation and breakdown of the bone tissues are excessive.  Because of this, there can be a weakening of the bone, which will result in arthritis, fractures, bone pain, and deformities. It is likely inherited, because the disease has been diagnosed in two or more family members, and there has been a scientific discovery of some genes which may result in the condition. It can also result from a “slow virus” infection, in an individual’s body for some years before the symptom appearing. There is a rare diagnosis of this disease in people below the ages of forty. This disease equally affects both women and men and can develop in anyone irrespective of their ethnic group.

Bone Metastasis

Cancer cells which leave the tumour (primary) and enter the bloodstream can stay in almost every tissue in the body. One of the familiar places where the circulating cells settle in the bones. Then, it begins to grow there. Metastases can affect bones, whether close or far from the primary tumour area. Primary bone cancer is not the same as metastasis bone disease. Primary bone cancer is the type of cancer which begins in the spine. There is a difference in the risk factors, outlook, and treatment of primary bone cancer and bone metastasis. There is a much less occurrence of primary bone cancer when compared to bone metastasis. One cause of the frequent pains in cancer patients connected to bone metastasis.

There is a growth of bone metastasis in nearly half of individuals with cancer (except those with skin cancer) at some point when they develop this cancer. Prostrate, breast, pancreas, kidney, bowel, thyroid, lung, ovarian, and stomach cancers account for almost all bone metastasis. The parts which are mostly affected by bone metastasis is the spine, then the pelvis, upper leg bones (femur) hip, and the skull.

What Tests Are Carried Out In Detecting An Issue With The Bone?

Usually,  bone issues are detected using radiology tests, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or X-rays. The density (mass) of the bone making use of special types of extremely low dose X-rays is used for the diagnosis of osteoporosis and fractures risk assessment. Ultrasound scans which make use of high-frequency sound waves can also be used to detect bone issues.
Signals of the turnover process of bones are used some times as an aid to bone mass test anytime there is an evaluation by your doctor, to determine whether or not you have any bone disease. This process measures bone resorption markers, like the urine pyridinolines (DPD, PYR) and telopeptides (CTX), and bone formation markers like procollagen (P1NP), osteocalcin, and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (ALP). Markers of bone resorption measurable in urine or blood.  Markers of bone formation are measured in the blood.

In most cases, bone markers assist your doctor in determining how your body responds to treatment and is also used to monitor bone disease therapy. Bone markers could help your doctor know if you’re responding to treatment for bone-strengthening faster than the bone density testing types, which involves X-ray.  In this way, there can be an alteration in your therapy, if you’re not responding well.

There is evidence to show that doctors can predict which prostate and breast cancer patients have a high risk of bone metastases, with the aid of bone markers. The response of a patient to bone-loss condition therapy can also be predicted using bone markers.

When Will These Tests Be Requested?

In some cases, there are requests for bone markers alongside other bone mineral mass tests when making a bone disease diagnosis.  Nevertheless, there is a periodic request of bone markers to monitor patients that have already been diagnosed with any bone condition, and also patients that are undergoing therapy to detect how much they respond to treatment.


1. How Can Osteoporosis Be Treated?

Osteoporosis treatment using drugs assist in strengthening the bones, and also reduces the risk of you developing fractures. Most osteoporosis treatment using drugs work by slowing down the activity of the cells, which break down osteoclasts (old bones). These drugs are known as “antiresorptive.” Some treatments help in stimulating the cells which build osteoblasts (new bones). These drugs are known as “anabolics.” The primary goal of these drug treatments is to reduce the risk of breaking bones, and this also forms a basis for licensing drugs.

The option which is most appropriate for you must be discussed with your doctor.

2. What Is The Prevalence Of Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition which affects about three million people in the United Kingdom.  Eighty per cent of these people is women.

Contact Us

If you would like to book an appointment with us for consultation, or even get your bone condition treated, we are here to help!
Reach out to us now on 020 7183 0244 for more info or visit us at Suite E, 117a Harley St, Marylebone, London W1G 6AT.

Blood London have been providing Bone Screen on a self-referral basis to patients in Central and Greater London for over 20 years. Simply walk-in weekdays between 9am and 6pm or on weekends between 10am and 2pm, to have your blood taken by a highly experienced professional in our private, Harley Street clinic using some of the best labs in europe.

Please note that when ordering blood tests on a self-request basis, we will forward you the laboratory report without note or comment from our doctors unless you are under their care.

Following the results of your test, if you would like to undergo a consultation, further testing or treatment please feel free to reach out to the clinic and we'll be happy to help.

How Blood London Works

Order your test

Order your test

Select the test that you would like to undergo

Provide your sample

Provide your sample

Go to the Harley Street clinic for your blood draw and pay for your test in person

View your results

View your results

As soon as the results are ready, the will be sent to you by your chosen method

World class partner lab (TDL)

World class partner lab (TDL)

Advice from expert UK doctors

Advice from expert UK doctors

Repeat your tests and track your improvements!

Repeat your tests and track your improvements!

Comprehensive Blood Testing