NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Kidney Cancer, Version 1.2017
An x-ray is a test that uses small amounts of
radiation to make a picture of the inside of the body.
An x-ray of your chest is used to check if cancer has
spread to your lungs. X-rays are good at showing
bones and some soft tissues like the lungs. But,
pictures from a regular x-ray are not as detailed as
pictures from a CT scan of the chest.
An x-ray is painless and takes about 20 minutes.
Often, two pictures are taken—one from the back of
your chest and one from the side.
A bone scan is an imaging test that can show if
cancer has spread to your bones. This test is only
used if you have certain symptoms such as bone
pain or high levels of ALP in your blood. These
symptoms may signal that the cancer has spread to
A bone scan uses a radiotracer to make pictures
of the inside of bones. A radiotracer is a substance
that releases small amounts of radiation. Before the
pictures are taken, the tracer will be injected into your
vein. It will take about 3 hours for the tracer to enter
your bones. For the scan, you will need to lie very
still on a table. A special camera will take pictures
of the tracer in your bones as it moves over your
body. It takes about 45 to 60 minutes to complete the
pictures. Areas of bone damage use more radiotracer
than healthy bone and thus show up as bright spots
on the pictures. Bone damage can be caused by
cancer or other health problems.
Keep a list of contact information of all
of your health care providers.
Ask a caregiver to help you plan your
Use a calendar or day planner to keep
track of your upcoming tests and