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Bone Metastasis

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is bone metastasis?

Bone metastasis is cancer that starts in one area and then spreads to a bone. Some examples are lung, breast, thyroid, prostate, and kidney cancers. Bone metastasis often happens in the spine, upper arm or leg bone, ribs, hips, or skull. Your risk for bone metastasis is higher if you have had cancer for a long time. Cancer that spreads to a bone can weaken the bone and increase your risk for fractures.

What are the signs and symptoms of bone metastasis?

How is bone metastasis diagnosed?

Tell your healthcare provider if you feel pain in one area, or in many areas. Tell your provider if the pain is constant or comes and goes. Describe the pain. For example, it may be dull, achy, or sharp. You may have shooting pain that starts in your back and goes down your leg. Tell your provider if anything you do makes the pain worse or better. You may need any of the following:

How is bone metastasis treated?

Treatment will depend on the type of cancer that spread to a bone. The cancer cells will still look and act like the original cancer. It will respond to treatment for that type of cancer. For example, if you had breast cancer that spread to a bone, you will need treatment used for breast cancer. Treatment may shrink the tumor or slow its growth but may not make the cancer go away completely.

What can I do to manage a bone metastasis?

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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