Secondary bone cancer, gamma scan

Secondary bone cancer, gamma scan

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This image is part of the feature Signs Of The Times

Credit: ISM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Secondary bone cancer. Coloured gamma scans of the skeleton of a 71-year-old man with secondary bone cancer (red areas). The primary cancer is of the prostate gland. The skeleton is seen from the front (left) and from behind (right). The cancer has spread to the spine, skull, pelvis, ribs, and leg and arm bones. 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 Tc-99m, or Technetium-99m). This tracer material becomes concentrated in the cancerous tissues and is detected by the gamma radiation it emits.

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