Thanks to phrases like 'I've got a bone to pick with you' and 'bone dry', talk of bones is commonplace in our vocabulary, yet it's a different story when it comes to osteoporosis.
The long-term condition occurs when bones become brittle and thinner than normal. Weak bones mean a fall or even a bump could cause a break. Osteoporosis is serious but isn't always top of mind or considered a pressing health concern. However, it's more common than most people think; two thirds of Australians over 50 are at risk of developing osteoporosis. Statistically, that makes it more prevalent than breast cancer and cervical cancer combined.
There's no doubt that osteoporosis can be a debilitating disease. It can lead to fractures and loss of mobility. To make things worse, it can creep up on you; most people have no signs or symptoms until the first break, which has led to it being nicknamed the 'silent disease'.
Keen to raise awareness and highlight the risk of osteoporosis, Ita Buttrose and Jennifer Byrne have joined forces with The Australian Women's Weekly, Amgen Australia and three women living with the disease to share their own unique "O" moments — the moment they realised osteoporosis is a real risk, and not just something that happens to "old ladies".
Click play on the video above to learn more about osteoporosis and who it can affect, as well as the one quick and easy action you can take to find out if you're at risk: Ask your doctor about a bone density scan today.
References for information included in this article: Watts JJ, et al. Osteoporosis costing all Australians - A new burden of disease analysis 2012 to 2022. Osteoporosis Australia, 2013; Osteoporosis Australia. What you need to know about osteoporosis. Consumer guide. 2017. www.osteoporosis.org.au. [Accessed 7 February 2019]; AIHW 2017. Cancer in Australia 2017. Cancer series no. 101. Cat no. CAN 100. Canberra: AIHW; Cooper C. Am J Med 1997;103:12S-7S.