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42.9 x 29.7 cm ⏐ 16.9 x 11.7 in (300dpi)
DR. E. WALKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR. E. WALKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Osteoporosis and metastatic bone cancer. Section through a human vertebra bone showing osteoporosis and cancerous tumours. Osteoporosis (brittle bone disease) describes a reduction in bone density, especially bones of the vertebra and femoral head. It is seen here in the thin appearance of the trabeculae (bony network) of the spongy bone inside this vertebra. Osteoporosis is an aging process, but may occur due to hormonal disorders (female menopause, Cushing's syndrome) or cortico- steroid drug treatment. The bone tumours (pink) are secondary (metastatic) bone cancer spread from a primary site elsewhere in the body. Both conditions may cause collapse of the vertebra.
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