Scans/Xrays Advice Please

Just wondered if anyone could throw some light on a situation for me. Finished chemo in July and since August had lower back pain, which over the months got worse and keeps troubling me at night. At my last surgical followup in December I mentioned this to my surgeon and he said it was nothing to worry about. Then a week later my BCN phones and said they want me to have a bone isotope scan. I went for my appointment to have the isotope injection, the radiographer explained that the scan is more effective than xray in showing abnormalities and I confirm that I have had no other tests done. Straight after the scan she asks me to wait and leaves the room and comes back with a form telling me I need to go for an xray of the lumbar spine. This was not planned, she decided this after the scan and got the authorisation. Why would they need to xray if the bone scan was the most appropriate investigation? I was dx with mulifocal ILC last Jan >7cm and high grade DCIS and had mx&FEC-Tax chemo. Any ideas? Thank you. X

Hi Tina,
Bumping this up for you! l do remember when l had a bone isotope scan
l was told l may need an xray as well. It was on the letter saying you may be asked to go for an xray! l didn’t need one, and never thought to ask why l would have an xray, as you say the isotope scan is the most detailed. Perhaps the helpline can throw some light as to why!
Sandra xxx

Hi Sandra, thank you for your support! I did ring in but they couldn’t help this time. Wait & see time again!! Hope all went well for you today! Fingers crossed all round it’s only good news this time round. X Tina

Don’t know tina but big hugs xxx

Hope everythings ok Tina, sorry I can’t help. I had a nuclear bone scan …is that the same thing? I know my results from that showed some areas of degeneration (old age even though I am not old hahah), consultant sent me for an x-ray some time later at my first 3 month check…just ‘to make sure’ as he said. Results were that I have old bones :frowning: probably wear and tear from 40 years of dancing
Hugs Suze xx

Hi Suze, yes, it’s the same, radioactive sign flashing over my head! Usually, calm and pragmatic, this has just thrown me a bit! Will let you know on Wednesday! Thankyou&Vickie! X

Hi Tina,

It must be so worrying when you don’t know why things are being done and we’ve all learnt how awful the waiting for results is. I don’t know whether my experience will help at all but I had a radioactive injection bone scan a few months ago after mx. They also did some X-rays of my shoulder area at the same time - I had been having particularly bad pain in one shoulder. Of course I spent a week waiting for results and fearing the worst (again) but it turned out it was arthritis. ‘That’s nothing!’ as the consultant said. True it is such a relief ‘only’ to have arthritis.

I’m sure they are just being extra thorough and getting all the images they need. I do hope everything is fine for you and will look out for your post on the Feb 2010 thread! I follow the thread as I had my dx on March 2nd and am also heading for the one-year check up so I share many feelings with you all.

Love & best wishes,

Tina, scans detect “active” areas which can be immflamation from arthritis. The scan is a blurry picture and an x ray is more in focus of joint, so if athritis in joint can show on both pictures. Hope I’ve explained it ok.

Thank you all for your kind reassurances, will feel very silly if it turns out to be clear and they just double checked…! Didn’t realise that along a BC dx comes paranoia and a slight touch of hypochondria in this case maybe???x

Tina - there’s nothing silly about it! Annoyingly these fears and worries are going to be with us now and we have to seek reassurance - it’s the only sensible thing to do. I spent 3 months this time last year telling myself I didn’t really have a lump and now I’m here! It’s hard not to worry but I hope you can manage a bit of time off from it before Wednesday.

Thinking of you,
Annette X

Hi Tina,
Your radiographer is right in that the Bone Scan is very effective at showing abnormlities. What they didn’t say is that it can be too effective! The radioisotope gathers in any abnormal areas producing “hot spots” but the radiologist cannot be sure whats causing them.For example my foot shows up as a “hot spot” but that is because I have had 2 bones fused after a fracture.The x-ray is required to help decide what is causing the “hot spot”
Hope this helps

Hi Tina,

Sorry you’ve got this worry going on at the moment. Just thought I’d let you know what happened with me in case it helps. I had been having on-going back pain (finished chemo in Oct) and was sent for a bone-scan but then also developed chest/rib pain before the appt. At the end of the bone-scan they said they wanted to do some more views and asked where my pain was specifically, and they re-scanned my chest and spine in more detail. After that they then said I needed a chest x-ray, which I hadn’t been expecting either. When I got my results the bone scan had shown a hot-spot on my ribs, which turned out to be healing rib fractures. So as others have said, the bone-scan can show there is a hot-spot but not necessarily what it is…injury, degenerative changes, arthritis etc all create areas of higher uptake.
Hope this helps during this horrible waiting time, and hoping that you get good news on Wed, am thinking of you.

Thank you for all the information. I had a bone scan on monday (along with liver/abdo scan) and chest xray. I wasn’t at all worried when had to have 8! xrays. I told them relevant past medical history which they take into account. So after many years of disc/ back problems I may even find out more about that as well! Just another wait for results!
Best wishes Bev x

Good luck and keep us posted, I’m reading with interest. I’m waiting for an appointment for a bone scan, as like you I’ve had a nagging back pain since last summer. Finished 3 FEC/3 TAX in July 2010, had radiotherapy Oct/Nov. I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about and that’s why I’ve ignored it so far, blaming it on being less active, receovering from chemo etc, but it’s not going away and time I had it checked out. Yet another thing to worry about!