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.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Myo Min Han, MD - Nuclear Medicine

Current as ofFebruary 19, 2016

Current as of: February 19, 2016

Author: Healthwise Staff

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