Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 1991 Mar;3(2):73-7.

Cost efficiency of bone scans in breast cancer.

Author information

Department of Surgery, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, UK.


A total of 110 consecutive females who presented in 1987 with primary carcinoma of the breast were staged according to the UICC TNM staging system. Of these, 90 patients had bone scans at presentation, of which seven were positive. The rate of positive initial scans for Stages I-II was 3.5%. Of these only one patient subsequently had bone metastases confirmed, to diagnose which by bone scan, the estimated cost was pounds 1300. Follow-up information was obtained for 95 patients, repeat scans being performed in 22 who had symptoms suggestive of bone metastases. Ten patients with negative initial scans converted to scan-positive within a mean time of 15 months. Only four of these had radiological confirmation of bone metastases. The cost of detecting bone metastases by follow-up scan was approximately pounds 80 per patient. The false-positive rate and the false-negative rate were both calculated as 10%. The specificity of the test was calculated as 90%. It is recommended that bone scanning should be reserved for patients with Stages III and IV disease and to evaluate symptoms suggesting bone metastases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons


    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center