ZocdocAnswersI just had a bone scan last week and there was an area of non specific findings in my rib area. What could this mean?

Question

I just had a bone scan last week and there was an area of non specific findings in my rib area. What could this mean?

I have had high calcium readings and high Alkaline phosphatase that is the reason she had me get the bone scan. Dr said i have arthritis in my knees hips and shoulders also said there was an area of non specific findings in my rib area . What could this mean? I am terrified of cancer because it runs in my family

Answer

So sorry to hear about this finding and I recommend that you speak with your doctor. As with all tests, a bone scan holds value for helping a doctor reach a certain conclusion. All by itself, it is often useless, and can actually cause a person to undergo testing that can sometimes be harmful. When taken as part of a clinical scenario and in light of other findings, tests start to become more useful, however. In your specific situation, it seems that your doctor was concerned about the findings of high calcium and alk phos. Both of these can be explained by many different things, but one thing that could explain them would be a process that is causing the bones to break down. While cancer is not necessarily the only explanation, it is one of the most concerning, and so it is something that your doctor would have to consider in light of the test findings that you have mentioned. A bone scan is a reasonable next step, as it can guide your doctor to find out if there is a specific area of your body that is having some increased burn turnover or any other bony changes that could explain your lab values. Please speak with your doctor about the next steps and your concerns.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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