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AskedPublicly Submitted Question
5/7/2017Another question about bone scans. I read in a United Kingdom article that there are cancer risks to having a bone scan.

1. What cancer risks would that be?
2. Is that why bone scans are no longer done as routine follow up after cancer treatment?
3. Are there any other tests that can be done with less or no radiation?
4. Would an MRI be safer and yield diagnostic results for the MD/patient?
Thank you

RepliedJHU's Breast Center Reply
5/8/2017No risk for periodic bone scans.

Reason why they are not done routinely is because they are simply not needed and they are quite expensive. it is better to rely on physical symptoms then to be bone scans annually.

not really

MRI uses raioactive isotope.

The standard of care following completion of stages 0-III breast cancer is to NOT be doing routine staging work ups looking for cancer. this standard was changed in 1998. This is because a radiologist can always find something on a bone scans that once it is chased down which usually requires more xrays and a biopsy, results in it being nothing of concern at all. it is emotionally exhausting for the patient and very expensive too. symptoms tells us instead when there is a need to look further.

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