Bone Scan Results In Prostate Cancer – Reading and Interpritation

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Because of the nature of the disease, prostate cancer, if it manages to spread beyond the immediate vicinity of the prostate, appears to prefer metastasizing to the bones in the body. Whilst early stage prostate disease is highly treatable, and even curable, an advanced stage of the same carcinoma poses some serious problems for a doctor and his patient. Knowing of the affinity of metastatic disease to be incident in the bone, once the disease has been diagnosed and staging is in suit, a bone scan often has to be carried out along with the MRI and CT scans that have to be done as well.

There are those who refer to bone metastasis of prostate kind of cancer as bone cancer, probably due to the similarity of symptoms, but that would be inaccurate and dangerous, because the best treatment for one is not the same as the treatment for the other. The bone scan really is one of the best and most commonly used tests to determine if the prostate condition has spread to the bones, especially when the oncologist is certain that the malignancy is no longer confined to the prostate. It is used to detect areas of bone damage due to the cancer throughout the skeleton.

The scan requires the injection of a certain material into the body which collects in the areas of higher bone density, causing them to show up as hot spots in the scan. Conversely, the regions of lower density show up as cold spots. No relief there anyhow, because neither situation is a brilliant one. Bone scan results of prostate type cancer diagnosis are easy to read. The areas of bone with increased growth or breakdown compared to normal bone will absorb increased amounts of tracer and will appear as “hot spots” in the pictures taken by the gamma camera.

You should know that hot spots can be due to a number of conditions ranging from cancer, to fracture, to infection, and certain types of arthritis, as well as other chronic bone diseases. But if you have already confirmed a prostate carcinoma diagnosis, you know that what you are looking at is bone metastatic prostate condition. Also, it is not very often that you get to see cold spots in a bone scan for prostate type of cancer metastasis because they are more synonymous with multiple myeloma and certain other metabolic bone conditions.

In most cases, the results of all these tests are all that an oncologist needs so as to decide on the best course of treatment for a prostate carcinoma patient. However, there are several instances also in which the merits of the case vary in an interesting manner. A patient might have reservations about a treatment procedure; the doctor might have an instinct about the patient or a therapy; the patient could somehow turn out to have severe reactions to an intervention, or any number of other things of that nature. As a result, something may have to be worked up for the patient specially.

Ordinarily, bone metastasis of prostate form of cancer is best treated by chemotherapy, or hormone treatments, and some radiation. In some cases, the doctor might believe a combination of therapies will work best; it all depends on the results of the bone scan and other tests.

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