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Bone Scan
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Bone Scan

Hi, I went in for x-ray of knee because of possible arthritis and as a result of x-ray they saw what they call a bone island in my tibia.  I now have to go for a bone scan because my doctor said that no doctor is willing to say the bone island is not cancer without further follow-up because of my previous cancer.  What are they looking for on a scan, can they tell the difference between a bone island and bone mets on a scan?

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There are two answers, depending on the nature of the bone island. An indolent bone island will show no increase uptake of the tracer. So if your bone scan is negative, then it is likely a bone island. If the bone island is growing, it can take up the tracer.  A positive bone scan will not be very helpful to differentiate whether or not it is a malignancy.  
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I also went for an xray a couple of years after treatment.  I had a compression fraction of the T12....but...because I had a history of breast cancer, they looked at my arthritis, decided I MUST have mets and suggested a bone scan....it came back inconclusive....so on to the MRI (inconclusive) and a CT (inconclusive).  It took a PET to convince everyone I did not have mets.
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