Can a bone density scan pick up cancer?

How accurate is a bone scan for cancer?

Results: Twenty-one of 95 patients (22.1%) with 43 of 760 areas (5.7%) of bone metastases were finally confirmed. In untreated patients, 12 of 14 bone metastasis positive patients were detected by PET, while 9 of 14 were detected by BS.

What does cancer look like on a bone density test?

Tumors might look “ragged” instead of solid on an x-ray, or they might look like a hole in the bone. Sometimes doctors can see a tumor that might extend into nearby tissues (such as muscle or fat).

Does bone cancer affect bone density?

Cancer is a major risk for both generalized and local bone loss, with bone loss as assessed by bone mineral density (BMD) testing substantially higher in cancer patients than in the general population, independent of cancer type. (1) Cancer-associated bone loss is the result of multiple, inter-related factors.

Why would a doctor order a bone scan?

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.

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How long do you have to live if you have bone cancer?

The overall five-year survival rate for all bone cancers in adults and children is about 70%. Chondrosarcomas in adults have an overall five-year survival rate of about 80%. The five-year survival rate specifically for localized osteosarcomas is about 60%-80%.

What does the beginning of bone cancer feel like?

Primary bone cancer initially begins with a tender feeling in the affected bone. In general, bone cancer can be characterized by bone pain, inflammation, stiffness, fractures, and limping.

What happens if your bone density is low?

A person may have low bone mass at any age but not develop osteoporosis. However, if a person has low bone mass and continues to lose bone density, this may lead to osteoporosis. A combination of low bone mass and a risk factor for fracture may increase your risk for broken bones, too.

What is the best scan to detect cancer?

A CT scan can help doctors find cancer and show things like a tumor’s shape and size. CT scans are most often an outpatient procedure. The scan is painless and takes about 10 to 30 minutes.

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.

Can a bone scan tell the difference between cancer and 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.

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