What tests did you have to diagnose your bone cancer?
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What tests are used to diagnose bone cancer?
A variety of imaging tests may be used to detect bone tumors, including bone cancers. Very early bone cancers may or may not be apparent on plain X-rays. CT scans and MRI scans are more precise in defining the location of bone cancers.
A bone scan is a test that uses radioactive material to produce images of the entire skeleton. This may allow the localization of bone cancer anywhere in the body. This test is not specific for bone cancers and can also reveal areas of inflammation as found with arthritis, fractures, and infections.
While many bone cancers have a characteristic appearance on imaging studies, a biopsy (tissue sample) must be taken in order to precisely determine what kind of cancer is present and confirm the diagnosis. The biopsy is a procedure to acquire a sample of a piece of the tumor that is examined under a microscope. The tissue sample may be obtained with a needle inserted through the skin into the tumor or with a surgical operation.
At present, there are no screening tests available to detect early bone cancers.