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Can a full body scan detect cancer?

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Posted on Fri, 21 Mar 2014
Question: The full body scan after the XXXXXXX will it detect if there is any cancer in your body? Not just thyroid.
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Answered by Dr. K. Harish (1 hour later)
Brief Answer: NO Detailed Answer: Assuming that this radio iodine scan is done after removal of the whole thyroid gland, it can detect only areas of cancer spread which take up radio iodine. That means only those areas of thyroid cancer spread are detected. Again, those areas which do not take up radio iodine (like less differentiated varieties of thyroid cancer) are not picked up. Radioactive Iodine scan: In an intact thyroid, these scans DO NOT pick up metastasis (areas of spread) In a patient who has undergone total removal of thyroid gland, it picks up areas of spread as described above Radio iodine scan is limited for some varieties of thyroid cancer only (papillary and follicular cancers). Hence, these scans are not meant for other varieties of thyroid cancer and for other cancers
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Dr. K. Harish

Oncologist, Surgical

Practicing since :1986

Answered : 59 Questions

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Can a full body scan detect cancer?

Brief Answer: NO Detailed Answer: Assuming that this radio iodine scan is done after removal of the whole thyroid gland, it can detect only areas of cancer spread which take up radio iodine. That means only those areas of thyroid cancer spread are detected. Again, those areas which do not take up radio iodine (like less differentiated varieties of thyroid cancer) are not picked up. Radioactive Iodine scan: In an intact thyroid, these scans DO NOT pick up metastasis (areas of spread) In a patient who has undergone total removal of thyroid gland, it picks up areas of spread as described above Radio iodine scan is limited for some varieties of thyroid cancer only (papillary and follicular cancers). Hence, these scans are not meant for other varieties of thyroid cancer and for other cancers