Most cases of prostate cancer if detected early enough can be successfully treated.
The Princess Margaret - Bone Scan
As part of the diagnostic process you may be expected to undergo additional tests to determine if cancer has spread beyond the prostate. This may include a bone scan.
A bone scan (shown left) is an imaging technique used to identify the presence of cancer in the bones. It is a kind of nuclear medicine technique that can identify hot spots for cancer.
During a bone scan, a very small amount of radioactive substance is placed into your body. This substance will eventually make its way to the bones where it will react with cancer cells. When this happens, the technologist takes pictures of your bones using a machine called a gamma camera. The resulting image can tell the technician about whether or not you have metastasis to bone from your prostate cancer.
Bone scans take place in the department of Nuclear Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital.
A tiny amount of radioactive substance is injected into your bloodstream and absorbed by your bones. You will then be asked to lie on a scanning bed. The technologist will take pictures using the gamma camera which may take between 30 to 60 minutes. If prostate cancer has spread to the bones, it most often shows up on the scan as a series of hot spots (darker areas) along the spine and ribs.
You should know that your technologist does not read the results of your scan. The images are sent to a radiologist who reads them and writes a report that is then sent to your doctor. Your doctor will then get in touch with you to let you know the results.
For more information on bone scans at the Princess Margaret and the University Health Network, please visit the Bone Scan page on The Princess Margaret website.