Coping with bone metastasis requires more than enduring bone pain. It also involves coming to terms with the news that your cancer has spread beyond its original site. Cancer that has metastasized can be very difficult to cure, though people can live several years with bone metastasis. Your doctor will work to minimize your pain and to maintain your function so that you can continue your daily activities.
Each person finds his or her own way to cope with a cancer diagnosis. Until you find what works best for you, consider trying to:
Apr. 27, 2012
- Find out enough about bone metastasis to make decisions about your care. Ask your doctor about the details of your cancer and your treatment options. Ask about trusted sources of further information. If you do research on your own, good places to start include the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society.
- Find someone to talk with. Although friends and family can be your best allies, in some cases they may have difficulty coping with the shock of your diagnosis. In these cases, talking with a counselor, medical social worker, or a pastoral or religious counselor can be helpful. Ask your doctor for a referral.
- Connect with other cancer survivors. You may find comfort in talking with other cancer survivors. Cancer survivors can provide unique insight into your situation. Contact your local chapter of the American Cancer Society to find cancer support groups in your area.
- Come to terms with your illness. Coming to terms with the fact that your cancer may no longer be curable can be difficult. For some people, having a strong faith or a sense of something greater than themselves makes this process easier. Others seek counseling from someone who understands life-threatening illnesses, such as a medical social worker, psychologist or chaplain. Many people also take steps to ensure that their end-of-life wishes are known and respected by writing down their wishes and discussing them with their loved ones.
- Walsh D, et al. Palliative Medicine. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05674-8..X5001-4&isbn=978-0-323-05674-8&uniqId=325267977-3. Accessed March 23, 2012.
- Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1709/0.html. Accessed March 23, 2012.
- Canale ST, et al. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1584/0.html. Accessed April 3, 2012.
- Browner BD, et al. Skeletal Trauma. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-2220-6..X1000-6&isbn=978-1-4160-2220-6&uniqId=327645813-3. Accessed April 3, 2012.
- Paes FM, et al. Radiopharmaceuticals: When and how to use them to treat metastatic bone pain. Supportive Oncology. 2011;9:197.
- Rosenthal D, et al. Critical review of the state of the art in interventional oncology: Benign and metastatic disease involving bone. Radiology. 2012;262:765.
- Metastatic cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Sites-Types/metastatic. Accessed March 23, 2012.
- Moynihan TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 9, 2012.