Quick Answer: Why Would A Doctor Order A Bone Scan?

What does a bone scan reveal?

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..

Does inflammation show up on a bone scan?

Bone scan is one of the most common and oldest examinations among all nuclear medicine procedures. It is used in the evaluation of benign bone disease like infection/inflammation and also is the standard of care for evaluating metastatic disease in the breast, prostate, and lung cancer.

Can a bone scan detect leukemia?

A bone scan is also an important tool for detecting cancer that has spread (metastasized) to the bone from a tumor that started in a different organ, such as the breast or prostate. Similarly, a bone scan can detect some abnormalities related to leukemia and lymphoma.

Do you have to take your clothes off for a bone scan?

You may have to wait several hours between the radiotracer injection and the bone scan so you may want to bring something to read or work on. Leave jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to wear a gown.

How long does it take to get a bone scan?

It takes pictures of the tracer in your bones. The technologist may ask you to change positions during the scan. This helps to get pictures from different angles. A whole-body bone scan takes about 1 hour to finish.

Will a bone scan show arthritis?

Many changes that show up on a bone scan are not cancer. With arthritis, the radioactive material tends to show up on the bone surfaces of joints, not inside the bone. But it can be hard to tell the difference between arthritis and cancer — especially in the spine.

Is bone cancer curable?

Bone metastasis may not be curable, but treatment may help people live longer and feel better. The exact mechanism of how cancer cells metastasize to the bones isn’t fully known. It’s a very active area of scientific research. New understanding of how metastasis works is continuing to lead to new methods of treatment.

What does a cold spot on a bone scan mean?

Areas that absorb little or no amount of tracer appear as dark or “cold” spots. This could show a lack of blood supply to the bone or certain types of cancer. Areas of fast bone growth or repair absorb more tracer and show up as bright or “hot” spots in the pictures.

Does a bone scan show cancer?

Bone scans can show if a cancer has spread to other bones. It can find smaller areas of metastasis than regular x-rays. Bone scans also can show how much damage the cancer has caused in the bone.

How can you tell the difference between arthritis and bone cancer?

The difference between bone cancer and arthritis lies in the fact that arthritis does not affect the bone itself, but rather the joints in between the bones. This is why you see both hands affected by joint disease. Bone cancer usually affects only one bone and causes a fracture, for pain.

What’s the best scan to detect cancer?

Different types of scans for cancer include the following.Computed Tomography (CT) Scan. … Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) … Ultrasound. … Positron Emission Tomography and Computed Tomography (PET-CT) Scans. … Mammography. … Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) … X-rays. … Nuclear Medicine Scans for Cancer.

How soon do you get bone scan results?

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 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?

Unlike ordinary X-rays, DEXA scans can measure tiny reductions in bone density. This makes it possible to diagnose osteoporosis in its early stages, before you break a bone. A DEXA scan also uses a low dose of radiation, which means the risks to health are much lower than with standard X-rays.