Using CT scan to find Metastic cancer in bones

Portal Forums Cancer Basics Imaging Issues Using CT scan to find Metastic cancer in bones

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August 3, 2015 at 9:26 am  #1270680    


My husband has rare stage 4 basal cell cancer. He is having a great deal of hip pain. The oncologist ordered a CT scan of his chest to check on the cancer and included a CT scan of his lower body with contrast. He said that would let them double check his hip. The results do not even mention his bones. They do specify where they see things and the organs that appear normal. Does that mean the bones are clear?
Thank you!

August 3, 2015 at 7:08 pm  #1270683    
JimC Forum Moderator
JimC Forum Moderator

Hi nkmccarthy7,

Welcome to GRACE. Various types of scans can be used to detect bone mets, including a bone scan, CT, MRI and PET. Each of them has their strengths and weaknesses, as shown in this information from the American Cancer Society:

As you can see, it is possible for each type of scan to miss a particular bone met, although one which is causing such pain would most likely show up on any of the scans.

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Jul 2008 Wife Liz (51/never smoker) Dx Stage IV NSCLC EGFR exon 19
4 cycles Carbo/alimta, 65% shrinkage
Tarceva maintenance
Mar 2010 progression, added Alimta, stable
Sep 2010 multiple brain mets, WBR
Oct 2010 large pericardial effusion, tamponade
Jan 2011 progression, start abraxane
Jun 2011-New liver, brain mets, add Tarceva
Oct 2011-Dx Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis; pulsed Tarceva
At rest Nov 4 2011
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