What are the screening systems for bone cancer?

Imaging tests and blood tests might suggest that a person has bone cancer. In most cases, however, doctors confirm this through a biopsy, which is a procedure that tests a tissue or cell sample by checking it under a microscope.

Imaging Tests:

1. X-ray:

A diagnostic test that uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to make images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film. The bone at the affected area may look disorganized and ragged instead of solid. The cancer may also appear as a hole in the bone. It is also possible that the tumor spread to nearing muscle, fat or organs.
The radiologist will mostly be able to tell the severity of the condition by looking at the X-ray images but a biopsy is mandatory to confirm.
Computed tomography scan (also called a CT or CAT scan):
This is an imaging test that uses X-rays and a computer to make detailed images of the body. A CT scan shows details of the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. It is helpful in staging cancer.
It is used to guide a biopsy needle into a tumor which is known as needle biopsy. For this the individual is inspected on the CT scanning table while the radiologist moves the biopsy needle towards the tumor and CT scans shots are repeated until the needle is inside the tumor.

2. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI):

A diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radio frequencies, and a computer to make detailed images of organs and structures within the body. It is powerful magnet link to a computer to take detailed pictures of the tumor without using X-rays. It is most useful in gauging tumors near the brain or the spinal cord.

3. Positron emission tomography (PET) scan:

An imaging test in which radioactive-tagged glucose (sugar) is injected into the bloodstream. Tissues that use the glucose more than normal tissues (such as tumors) can be detected by a scanning machine. As cancer cells use more glucose than regular cells the images are used to find cancer cells in the body.

4. Biopsy:

A procedure in which tissue samples are removed with a needle or during surgery from the body for examination under a microscope. This is done to determine if cancer or other abnormal cells are present It is necessary that an experienced surgeon do a biopsy.

a. Needle Biopsy

A needle biopsy is of two types (fine aspiration) and core both of which are conducted after the affected area is numbed.

b. Surgical Biopsy

There are two types of surgical biopsy, one, incisional biopsy and two, excisional biopsy. While the former cuts through the skin to more a small piece of tissue, the latter removes the entire tumor.

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