A ProstaScint scan uses an injection of low-level radioactive material to test for the spread of prostate cancer .
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Reasons for Test
This test is given to men who have prostate cancer to see if it has spread to the lymph nodes or other areas.
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
- Changes in the levels of bilirubin (a waste product) in the blood
- Changes in blood pressure
- Allergic reaction
What to Expect
Prior to test
Your doctor may do a bone scan . This is a test that detects areas of increased or decreased bone turnover. It can reveal bone injury, bone disease, or cancer spread to the bones.
Before your test:
- You will come in 4-5 days before the scan for an injection of radioactive isotope into your vein.
- Follow your doctor’s advice for cleaning out your bowel. You may need to take a laxative or enema the night before.
- You may need to have your bladder emptied of urine by a urine catheter.
Description of the Test
For the scan, you will be positioned next to a device that takes images.
The radioactive material that was injected into your vein is attracted to prostate cancer cells in the body. Whole body images will be taken to detect areas where the material collects. This is done to find out if the cancer has spread to lymph nodes or other organs away from your prostate.
You will be able to leave after the test is done. You can resume normal activities. You may need to return the next day for more images.
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
Your doctor will review the images. The results will be ready in a few days.
Call Your Doctor
Call if you have any questions or concerns. If you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
- Mohei Abouzied, MD
- Reviewed: 08/2014
- Updated: 09/30/2013
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