Bone cancer, gamma scans

Bone cancer, gamma scans


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Bone cancer. Coloured gamma scans of the skeleton of a 67-year-old woman with bone cancer (red). The whole skeleton is seen from the front (left) and from behind (right). The cancer (an osteosarcoma) has spread to the knees, lumbar (lower) spine, and the right shoulder. Cancer that spreads from its original site is referred to as secondary cancer, and the cancer is said to have metastasised. The prognosis is poor. A gamma scan (also called a scintigram) is obtained by injecting a radioactive isotope (here Technetium-99m, or Tc-99m). This tracer material is concentrated in the cancerous tissues and is detected by the gamma radiation it emits.

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