Today the doctor found a spot on my dad's lower rib. He is going for a bone scan just on that area. He has not complained of any pain. How high are the chances that this could be bone cancer? Are the ribs a common area for bone cancer? He is 78.
Hi. Primary bone cancer (osteosarcoma) is usually found in the long bones of the limbs, not the ribs. It is also more prevalent in younger age groups. However, there are certain types of malignancy which can have metastatic spread to the bone. These include multiple myeloma, prostate and lung cancer. A bone scan can help differentiate if that spot is likely caused by metastatic spread or some other benign condition. The chances of your father having cancer will depend on what risk factors he has (for example, is he a heavy smoker? Does he have close relatives who had cancer?).
He's not a smoker. he had an enlarged prostate but it has been brought back to normal and he has never had prostate cancer. His mother died of cancer but none of his other immediate family (sisters and father) had cancer. He has gall bladder stones. But other than that, his health has been fine.
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