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Doctor insights on: Deformed Scoliosis Mess Bone Scan Cancer

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Could a deformed spine (scoliosis) mess up a bone scan which is looking for possible cancer?

Could a deformed spine (scoliosis) mess up a bone scan which is looking for possible cancer?

Shouldn't: Bone scans pick up increased metabolic activity, and are not affected by structural abnormalities such as scoliosis. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,341 Doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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I have to have a bone scan because of scoliosis. Can having this give me cancer?

I have to have a bone scan because of scoliosis. Can having this give me cancer?

Probably not: A bone scan is done by administering a dose of a radioactive isotope into the blood stream. By itself, this is not harmful. However, low doses of radiation exposure over a prolonged time can lead to cancer, though the amount needed to do this is not really known. As long as you do not need frequent tests requiring radiation exposure, there is little risk from a single bone scan. ...Read more

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Could a bad scoliosis cause a wrong interpretation of a bone scan, looking for cancer?

Could a bad scoliosis cause a wrong interpretation of a bone scan, looking for cancer?

Sometimes: Scoliosis deforms the spine with a curvature. On bone scan the convex side of the curvature is usually more active than the concave side. With surgery for scoiiosis, active spots can occur where breaks in fusion. High incidence of spondylolysis with scolisis, fractures at the L5 level of lumbar spine. Older people with scoliosis have arthritis.All active spots have to be correlated with other images. ...Read more

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Spine surgeon evaluated me. Said my scoliosis not bad enough to cause pain. Getting bone scan. Very worried about this being something serious. Chances?

Spine surgeon evaluated me. Said my scoliosis not bad enough to cause pain. Getting bone scan. Very worried about this being something serious. Chances?

Probably not serious: Back pain not usually associated with scoliosis. Low back pain can be caused by muscular and bone issues. Spondylolysis, a stress fracture in posterior part of lumbar vertebra 4 or 5, can be associated with scoliosis. Movement of one vertebra forward on another if bilateral fractures.Bone scan is the right test for detecting fractures and other causes of pain. Correlate with other imaging for rx. ...Read more

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Can cancer be caused by having a bone scan?

Can cancer be caused by having a bone scan?

Essentially not.: There is radiation with a bone scan, but it's reasonably low. Your drive to the clinic/hospital was probably more dangerous than the scan itself. ...Read more

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Is dark spot appearing on bones by bone scan cancer?

Is dark spot appearing on bones by bone scan cancer?

Maybe not: Areas if increased uptake can be caused by a number of different things. Fractures can do this as well as arthritis (if near a joint), infection and yes cancer can do this also...But other bone lesions that are not considered malignant can also do this. This is why it is so important to see your doctor, who can put this information together with your history, symptoms and results from other tests. ...Read more

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What is the specific name of a "bone scan" that docs use to look for cancer? Want to read up on it for loved one, learn about pros and cons, etc.

What is the specific name of a "bone scan" that docs use to look for cancer? Want to read up on it for loved one, learn about pros and cons, etc.

PET scan: It is usually not a bone scan. Pet (positron emission tomography, in combination with computed tomography is sensitive in detecting malignancies. F18 the isotope is tagged to glucose. Most tumors utilize increased metabolism of glucose allowing detection by this imaging. The isotope is injected intravenously. The test may take 2 hours. ...Read more

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Could a bone scan pick up on dead cancer cells after one has been treated for bone cancer?

Could a bone scan pick up on dead cancer cells after one has been treated for bone cancer?

No: Bone scan is a crude way of measuring active disease in bone. There are more sensitive tests available now. It does not pick up dead cells. But not showing active disease in an area where it was showing disease, "lack of uptake" is a good sign. ...Read more

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Is it ever that a bone scan pick up on dead cancer cells after one has been treated for bone cancer?

Is it ever that a bone scan pick up on dead cancer cells after one has been treated for bone cancer?

Yes and no.: The degree of tracer uptake depends on several factors such as the size and the type of tumor. Bone scan detects the bone metabolism surrounding the tumor. Usually the uptake will be proportionnal to the degree of "invasion" of the bones but sometimes a lesion which is healing can also be seen as a "hot" spot for many months because of the healing process. Serial scans are needed for evaluation. ...Read more

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Why would prostate levels jump from under 5 to 26.5 in 6 months: my uncle had prostate cancers few years ago and is 76 years old. Bone scan is done?

Why would prostate levels jump from under 5 to 26.5 in 6 months: my uncle had prostate cancers few years ago and is 76 years old. Bone scan is done?

A 5-fold: Increase in psa needs assessment. If his psa was 5 and he had prostate cancer, he may have been "watched & waited". First step, repeat psa; find out gleason score from prostate biopsy, get bone scan; ct abd/pelvis. Treatment depends on these results. ...Read more

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Prostat cancer bone scan shows o pelvic area is that serius? Canit be treated& what's the life expectncy? Not spreded anywhere just ther &outtr prostat

Discuss w/oncologist: Prostate cancer which has spread to bone is not curable WITH CURRENTLY AVAILABLE treatments. However, current treatments can improve quality of life and duration of survival for years. Hormonal therapy is usual first-line treatment. ...Read more

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What are reasons why would doctors run bone scan for prostate cancer?

What are reasons why would doctors run bone scan for prostate cancer?

Because...: ....Bone is the number one place to where prostate cancer will metastasize. It is not the only place it can go to, though. ...Read more

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I'm wondering why would doctor run bone scan for prostate cancer?

I'm wondering why would doctor run bone scan for prostate cancer?

? spread to bone: It is common for prostate cancer to spread to bones. A bone scan is a very sensitive way to detect spread of prostate cancer to the bone. It's important to know if the bone is involved to "stage" the disease and determine the best treatment. ...Read more

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My dr thinks I am too young to have a bone scan done. What other paths can I take to be checked for osteosporosis, cancer, etc?

My dr thinks I am too young to have a bone scan done. What other paths can I take to be checked for osteosporosis, cancer, etc?

Appropriate reason: Dexa scan is used to assess bone mineralization and bone scan is usually for detecting metastatic disease, occult fractures, infection etc. Insurance will not approve unless doctor has appropriate reason for study. For instance postmenopausal woman, frequent fractures, inflammatory bowel disease, certain meds for ge reflux for DEXA scan. ...Read more

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Prostrate cancer gleason 3+3psa10.7. Getting prostractomy done in a few days. Bone scan MRI negative. Can it recur?

Prostrate cancer gleason 3+3psa10.7. Getting prostractomy done in a few days. Bone scan MRI negative. Can it recur?

Yes it could: Recurrence is possible. However thier is available hormonal and chemotherapy/radiation seed implantation for treatment IG that happens. Good luck. ...Read more

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Can the results of a bone scan of hips show the difference between cancer that has spread or if it is stress reaction?

Not alone.: A nuclear medicine bone scan reveals only bone turnover activity. This can come from several causes such as trauma, degenerative change and tumor. While the scan may give some hints such as distribution of "hot" areas other studies will be needed to determine the cause. ...Read more

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My bone scan showed no evidence that my prostate cancer spread to the bones. What are the chances that it did not spread anywhere else?

My bone scan showed no evidence that my prostate cancer spread to the bones. What are the chances that it did not spread anywhere else?

Skeleton/nodes: In theory prostate cancer can spread anywhere. The most common sites of spread are bones and lymph nodes. The initial staging of the tumor may help determine likelihood of metastases. You should ask your physician about possible metastases. ...Read more

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Bone scan revealed small lesions on lungs/ribcage. Could they be anything other than cancer?

Bone scan revealed small lesions on lungs/ribcage. Could they be anything other than cancer?

Correlation: Bone scan is very sensitive and not specific. Correlative imaging ususally ct of chest would be needed. Lesions of ribs can also be fractures, benign tumors, and congenital anomalies. Lung uptake can also occcur in metabolic conditions, sometimes infection, scars, etc. ...Read more

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I had chemo for breast cancer and a bone scan indicated a spot on my clavicle. My br cancer is gone but not the spot on the clavicle. What is it?

I had chemo for breast cancer and a bone scan indicated a spot on my clavicle. My br cancer is gone but not the spot on the clavicle. What is it?

Hard to answer: Without seeing the images its difficult to answer this question. Where in the clavicle (i.E mid vs at sternoclavicular joint), morphology of the lesion and correlation to cross sectional imaging like ct/mri are important in further delineating the possible etiology of the "spot" (increased uptake in radiology lingo). It's also important to mention if you had trauma to the area. Talk to your doc! ...Read more

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Bone (Definition)

Bone is a living growing tissue made mostly of collagen (protein that provides soft framework) & the mineral calcium phosphate that adds strength & hardens the framework. Two types of bone are found in the body; cortical (dense compact outer layer) & trabecular (makes up inner layer, ...Read more


Dr. Edward Hellman
593 Doctors shared insights

Abnormal Curvature Of The Spine (Definition)

Scoliosis is the term given for a curvature of the spine in the coronal plane that is ...Read more