A ProstaScint scan uses an injection of low-level radioactive material to test for the spread of prostate cancer]]>.

Prostate Cancer

© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


Reasons for Test

This test is given to men who have prostate cancer]]> to see if it has spread to the lymph nodes.


Possible Complications

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a ProstaScint scan, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Changes in the levels of bilirubin in the blood
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Allergic reaction

Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the test.

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, indicating bone injury or disease.

Leading up to 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 instructions for cleaning out your bowel. You may need to take a laxative or enema the night before.
  • You may also 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 be 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.

After Test

You will be able to leave after the test is done and resume normal activities. You may need to return the next day for more images.

How Long Will It Take?

1-2 hours

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. In case of an emergency, CALL 911.