Bone metastasis occurs when cancer cells spread from their original site to a bone.
Nearly all types of cancer can spread (metastasize) to the bones. But some types of cancer are particularly likely to spread to bone, including breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Bone metastasis can occur in any bone but more commonly occurs in the spine, pelvis and thigh. Bone metastasis may be the first sign that you have cancer, or bone metastasis may occur years after cancer treatment.
Bone metastasis can cause pain and broken bones. With rare exceptions, cancer that has spread to the bones can't be cured. Treatments can help reduce pain and other symptoms of bone metastases.
April 10, 2015
- Walsh D, et al. Palliative Medicine. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2009. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 16, 2014.
- Yu HM, et al. Overview of the epidemiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and management of adult patients with bone metastasis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 2, 2015.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/book.aspx?bookid=331. Accessed Jan. 2, 2015.
- Niederhuber JE, et al., eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 16, 2014.
- Metastatic cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Sites-Types/metastatic. Accessed Jan. 2, 2015.
- 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.
- Moynihan TJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 11, 2015.