Quick Answer: How Does A Bone Scan Show Cancer?

Is bone cancer curable?

With rare exceptions, cancer that has spread to the bones can’t be cured.

Treatments can help reduce pain and other symptoms of bone metastases..

What does a hot spot on a bone scan mean?

The areas where the radionuclide collects are called “hot spots,” and may indicate the presence of conditions such as arthritis , malignant (cancerous) bone tumors , metastatic bone cancer (cancer which has spread from another site, such as the lungs), bone infections , bone trauma not seen on ordinary X-rays, and …

Where is bone cancer most common?

Bone cancer can begin in any bone in the body, but it most commonly affects the pelvis or the long bones in the arms and legs. Bone cancer is rare, making up less than 1 percent of all cancers. In fact, noncancerous bone tumors are much more common than cancerous ones.

Does bone cancer spread fast?

This is a rapidly growing tumor that often spreads to distant sites in the body, such as the lungs. It is most common in adolescents between 10–19 years of age. Although it is the second most common type of bone cancer in children and teenagers, it is very rare.

Can a bone scan detect cancer?

Your doctor may order a bone scan if you have unexplained skeletal pain, a bone infection or a bone injury that can’t be seen on a standard X-ray. A bone scan can also be an important tool for detecting cancer that has spread (metastasized) to the bone from the tumor’s original location, such as the breast or prostate.

What does cancer look like on a bone scan?

Most bone cancers show up on x-rays of the bone. The bone at the site of the cancer may look “ragged” instead of solid. The cancer can also appear as a hole in the bone. Sometimes doctors can see a tumor around the defect in the bone that might extend into nearby tissues (such as muscle or fat).

What does an abnormal bone scan look like?

Results are considered abnormal when the scan shows darker “hot spots” or lighter “cold spots” in the bones. Hot spots describe places where an excess of radioactive substance has collected. Cold spots, on the other hand, are areas where it didn’t collect at all.

Does a bone scan show osteoporosis?

A bone-density test is a way to measure the strength of your bones. The test, called a DEXA scan, is a kind of X-ray. Many people get a bone-density test every few years. The main reason to have the test is to find and treat serious bone loss, called osteoporosis, and prevent fractures and disability.

What does bone pain from cancer feel like?

The pain is often described as a dull or sharp throb to the bone or area surrounding the bone. This will often be felt in the back, pelvis, arms, ribs, and legs. The pain is often described as aching, throbbing, stabbing, and excruciating — and can lead to things like loss of appetite and insomnia.

How accurate is a bone scan for detecting cancer?

Overall, PET/CT is shown to be more specific for metastatic disease than bone scan. Ohta and colleagues compared PET and bone scan in evaluation of skeletal metastases in 51 patients with breast cancer and found that the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of the bone scan were 77.7%, 80.9% and 80.3%, respectively.

How long does it take to get the results of a bone scan?

How soon will the scan results be available? A radiologist will interpret the images, write a report, and deliver the results to your doctor via the internal computer system. This process usually takes less than 24 hours.

What does a positive bone scan mean?

It shows possible cancer in areas where too much or too little tracer has been absorbed by the body. Most of the time, the whole body is scanned during this test. The results can show bone damage that may be caused by cancer. If the scan shows bone damage, more tests may be needed.