Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Bone Scan

What is a bone scan?

A bone scan is an imaging test that may detect cancerous cells, evaluate fractures in bones and monitor other bone conditions, such as infections and arthritis. During a bone scan, a small dose of radioactive material is injected into a vein, where it travels through the bloodstream. The material collects in the bones and is detected by a scanner using nuclear imaging to reveal cell activity and function in the bones.

A bone scan may detect cancer that has metastasized to the bone from a different primary site, such as the breast, prostate or lungs. It may also be used to evaluate bone health before treatment.

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Bone scan medical animation