SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Secondary bone cancer. Coloured PET (positron emission tomography) scan of secondary bone cancer (red dot, centre) in a man's spine. The head and the rest of the torso are seen in outline in this frontal view. The cancer spread (metastasised) from a cancer of the prostate gland to the chest (thoracic) region of the spine. Bones are a common site for secondary cancers. Once a cancer has spread from its original site, the prognosis is poor. PET scanning uses a radioactive tracer that is injected into the body and is taken up by the tumour. The tracer decays and emits positrons, allowing the presence of the tracer to be detected.
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