Bone metastases (cancer)

General or Other | Oncology | Bone metastases (cancer) (Disease)


Bone metastases are cancerous tumors in bone that have spread from a cancer elsewhere in the body.

Bone metastases, most often are found in the spine, skull, ribs, upper limbs, femur bone, pelvic bones, and hip bone.

There are several symptoms that can announce bone metastasis: severe pain, bone fractures, spinal cord compression, hypocalcemia, anemia, difficulty urinating, spinal instability, decreased mobility, paralysis.

Causes and Risk factors

There are many reasons why cancer spreads to the bone tissue. Some cancer cells contain proteins that allow adherence to certain parts of the body, including bones. Another reason is that bones have certain characteristics that stimulate the development of certain cancers. As tumors get larger near lymph nodes, the chances of developing bone metastasis are higher. The cancers that most often spread to bone are those originating in the breast, the lung, the thyroid gland, the kidney, and the prostate gland.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Most often, patients do not experience any symptoms and bone metastasis is diagnosed after a routine X-ray. Other investigations required are: CT scan and other imagistic investigation, blood tests, urine tests and biopsy (sample of tissue).

The traditional treatments for cancer are Radiotherapy and chemotherapy, usually in combination with one another. The original cancer must be treated also. Hormones such as estrogen, and androgen hormones can encourage the growth of cancer cell types. Other treatments include bisphosphonates, corticosteroids and radionucleotides. ...

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