Bone Scan Results

Last Modified: January 24, 2012


My doctor recently showed me a bone scan result and said that some darkened areas were cancer and others were not. How could she tell the difference?


James Metz, MD, OncoLink Editor In Chief, responds:

Interpretations of bone scans are very individualized and the final report takes into account the clinical situation. It also needs to take into account any previous injuries including fractures, or car accidents as these can also light up on bone scan. Also, depending on the pattern activity, this may suggest a certain cause over another. If you physician reviews the actual scan with you, consider asking them to discuss the reasoning in your specific situation for their interpretation.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire Interpreting Test Results transcript.