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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.

Current as of: June 17, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Myo Min Han MD - Nuclear Medicine

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  • Bone Scan of the Spread of Prostate Cancer

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