Bone metastases: Definition
The bone metastasis occurs when cancer cells spread from their original location to a bone. Almost all types of cancer can spread (metastasize) to bone. But some types of cancer are particularly likely to spread to bone, including breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Bone metastases can occur in any bone, but usually bone metastases occur in the pelvis and spine. Bone metastases can be the first sign that you have cancer, or bone metastases may well arise years after cancer treatment.
Bone metastases can cause pain in the bones and weakened. With few exceptions, cancer that has spread to the bones can not be cured. Treatments can help reduce pain and symptoms of bone metastases
Bone metastases: Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of bone metastases include:
- Bone pain
- Urinary incontinence
- Fecal incontinence
- Weakness in legs
- High levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia), which can cause nausea, vomiting and confusion
- Bone metastases: Causes
- Bone metastases occur when cancer cells break away from the original tumor and spread to the bones, where they begin to multiply. It is thought that cancer cells arrive in bone by traveling through blood vessels.
Bone metastases: Risk factors
Virtually any type of cancer can spread to bones, but the cancers most likely to cause bone metastases include:
- Breast cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
- Multiple myeloma
- Prostate cancer
- Thyroid cancer
Bone metastases: Treatments
Treatments for bone metastases include drugs, surgery and radiotherapy.
Bone metastases: Drugs
The drugs used in people with bone metastases include:
- drugs to strengthen bones
- Drugs against pain
- Bone metastases: Radiotherapy
Radiation therapy uses high energy beams of power, such as X-rays to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy may be an option if your pain in bone metastasis did not pass. Depending on your situation, radiation to bone can be administered as a single large dose or smaller doses over several days.
Bone metastases: Surgery
Surgical procedures can help stabilize a bone that is at risk of rupture or repair a fractured bone.
Bone metastases: Physical therapy
A physical therapist can work with you to design a plan that will help you increase your strength to improve your mobility.