Research Article

Staging breast cancer: role of bone scanning.

Br Med J 1977; 2 doi: (Published 03 September 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;2:603
  1. C J Davies,
  2. P A Griffiths,
  3. B J Preston,
  4. A H Morris,
  5. C W Elston,
  6. R W Blamey


    Bone scans using technetium-99m phosphate complexes and a rectilinear scanner were carried out on 192 women with primary operable breast cancer four to six weeks after operation. The lymph node status of all these patients was assessed histologically from triple node biopsy specimens. Only nine patients had positive scans, although 94 patients had histological evidence that the tumour had already spread beyond the confines of the breast. Bone scanning, although accurate as a prognostic guide, is helpful only in a very few cases, and serves mainly to confirm prognostic information obtained more simply and less extensively by histological examination of lymph node biopsy specimens.