Bone Metastasis - What You Need to Know About

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Injuries or diseases to bone could occur due to multiple reasons and the symptoms noticed will also be different depending upon the cause.

Injuries or diseases to bone could occur due to multiple reasons and the symptoms noticed will also be different depending upon the cause. Bone injuries generally occur due to accidents, falls, or while playing contact sports. While on the other hand, diseases to bones could either occur directly or as a result of a disease that has affected any other part of the body.

The extent of the injury decides which type of treatment will be the best. For example, if the injury is serious, surgical intervention may be required, and it may also require Orthopedic Trauma Implants. Not only injuries, but diseases occurring in the bones may also cause severe complications, and to relieve that, surgery may be done. One of the bone conditions that we are going to talk about in this post is bone metastasis. Let us start with the basics first.

What is Bone Metastasis?

Bone metastasis is the condition in which cancer cells spread to bone from their original site. Almost all types of cancers can spread to the bone but, cancers like prostate and breast cancers are more likely to spread to the bone. Besides all this, it is also important to know that cancer cells can spread to any bone but, the bones in the thigh, pelvis, and spine are more prone to getting an infection.

When Cancer Cells Spread to Bones?

There is no specific time for the cancer cells to affect bones. It could either occur years after the cancer treatment or one can experience the first sign of cancer when bone metastasis is detected. Pain and broken bones are the most common symptoms associated with bone metastasis.

Most cases of this condition may be treated but, on rare occasions, the condition becomes incurable, and the treatment in such situations aims at relieving symptoms like pain and other ones.

What Are the Symptoms Associated with Bone Metastasis?

It is not necessary that all cases of bone metastasis will show symptoms, but the ones that are seen include:

  • Pain in the bones
  • Fractures
  • Urinary and/or bowel incontinence
  • Weakness in arms or legs
  • Hypercalcemia (high levels of calcium in the blood)


What Are the Causes of Bone Metastasis?

Studies have not made any conclusive report of how bone metastasis is caused by different types of cancers. But it is believed that the condition occurs when the tumor cells break from their original site and starts multiplying onto any bone in the body.

What Are the Risk Factors Associated with Bone Metastasis?

According to the studies, any type of cancer can affect bone resulting in bone metastasis. But there are certain types of cancers that are more likely to cause bone metastasis:

  • Lung cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Prostate cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Kidney cancer

How is the Condition Diagnosed?

Imaging tests are a must for the diagnosis of bone metastasis, and the doctor will recommend tests depending upon the sign and symptoms shown. Below mentioned are some of the tests that may be performed to diagnose the condition:

  • X-ray
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Biopsy
How is Bone Metastasis Treated?
The doctor always tries to treat the condition with medications like analgesics, steroids, chemotherapy, bone-building medication, hormone therapy, targeted drug treatment, and intravenous radiation. Besides this, external radiation therapy is also found to be effective for the treatment of bone metastasis. When all these treatment methods fail to relieve the condition, surgery remains the last option.

Surgery is performed to stabilize the bone using metal implants like Intramedullary Nails and Screws. Surgery is also done to inject bone cement or to repair a broken bone.

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