A bone scan or bone screening is a nuclear imaging technique of the bone. Generally, doctors recommend a bone scan if a patient has unexplained skeletal pain, bone injury or bone infection that can’t be identified through a standard X-ray.
A bone scan or screening is considered a major tool for detecting cancer that has spread to the bone, technically termed as metastasized, from the tumor, like prostate or breast.
Why should you go for a bone scan?
In case you have unexplained bone pain, bone screening can help in determining the cause. This screening test is susceptible to detect even a slightest difference in bone metabolism. The capacity to scan the entire skeleton makes the bone scan very helpful in diagnosing cancer that has spread to bone from a different site.
Risks involved in a bone scan or bone screening
The screening test relies on radioactive tracers to produce the images; these traces have very little radiation exposure when compared to a PET CT scan.
Tracers are injected into the veins of your arms. Generally, the amount of time between the injection and the scan varies and entirely depends on why your doctor has recommended you to get the scan done in the first place. Few images are taken just after the injection while the main images are taken 2-4 hours later. Because the tracer needs some time to circulate and be absorbed by your bones. You will also be advised to drink several glasses of water while you wait.
Bone Scan or Bone Screening
The scan is done with an arm-like device, and a tracer-sensitive camera is passed back and forth over your body. Generally, the scan can take up to an hour, and the procedure is painless. Doctors mostly recommend a three-phase bone scan whereby a series of images are taken at different times. In some cases, additional imaging termed as Single-photon Emission Computerised Tomography (SPECT) is also recommended. This particular imaging helps with conditions that are especially deep in your bone or for places which are hard to trace.
Cancer Clinics is equipped with the latest tools and technology to perform bone screening with ease. Cancer Clinics believe the best way to fight any disease is by diagnosing it early. Also, early detection leads to high survival rates and low cost of treatment. So, in case of any discomfort, get your screening done.