Health Encyclopedia

 

 

Bone Scan of the Spread of Prostate Cancer

Image of a bone scan showing prostate cancer

Courtesy of Intermountain Medical Imaging, Boise, Idaho.

A bone scan is a test that uses a radioactive tracer to look at the bones of the body. Areas that absorb little or no amount of tracer appear as dark or "cold" spots. Areas of fast bone growth or repair absorb more tracer and show up as bright or "hot" spots in the pictures.

Figure 1 shows a normal whole-body scan. Figure 2 shows cancer of the prostate that has spread to the spine.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Myo Min Han, MD - Nuclear Medicine
Last Revised October 1, 2012

Last Revised: October 1, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Myo Min Han, MD - Nuclear Medicine

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.