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This week, I'd like to discuss a complication that can occur with advanced cancer that many of you may be unaware of. Bone metastasis occurs when cancer cells spread from their original site to a location in the bone. The most common types of cancer more likely to spread to bone include breast, prostate and lung cancers.
Bone metastasis can occur in any bone, but more commonly occurs in the pelvis and spine. Bone metastasis may be the first sign that you have cancer, or it may occur years after your cancer treatment is completed.
Signs and symptoms of bone metastasis may include the following:
The most common problem with metastatic bone cancer is pain and fractures. Metastatic bone cancer usually can't be cured, but instead the goal is to provide pain relief and control further spread. Treatment can make a big difference and may include the following:
If you're living with metastatic bone cancer, you may find help and resources from a website called Bone Health in Focus. It was established with partners including BreastCancer.org, the National Lung Cancer Partnership and Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education & Support Network to offer resources that help patients and caregivers understand more about cancer that has spread to the bone (find the site at www.bonehealthinfocus.com).
Mayo Clinic information on cancer that has spread to the bone can be found at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bone-metastasis/basics/definition/con-20035450.
Are you living with cancer that has spread to the bone? Feel free to share your experiences with each other on the blog.
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.
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Hello fellow bone metastasis friends. I am sorry that you are in this club with me yet selfishly glad to have found this blog. My original diagnosis was Endometrial 2b (jan 2013; chemoradiation w/6 internal Brachytherapy). Follow up Pet/ct's showed possible lung met (8/2013) and bone spine C1 met (11/2013); watch and wait strategy to treatment-lung nodule resection (4/2014) with nodule pathology showing cervical hpv Cancer cells; given that finding assumption was that the spine tumor was cervical met-biopsy not feasible/location;growth & SUV uptake suggested treatment cyberknife radiation (6/2014); remission declared (8/2014), but returned (11/2014)--tumor on cervix with pelvis insufficiency fracture; current treatment 6-8 chemo cycles (taxol & carboplatin) w/zometa to be added for bone Mets and Avastin. Bone mets may be treated again w/cyberknife. Cancer technology is remarkable and I am extremely grateful to have a care team examining all options including trials for my "incurable but treatable" cervical cancer mets. I am interested in hearing from anyone with same diagnosis. Wishing all of you the best outcomes.
Yo tenia metastasis oseas por cancer de mama y me han desaparecido todas.
this really helps thanks
I have just been diagnosed with a tumor in my spine at T-12/L1. It is metastatic endometrial cancer which apparently is rather uncommon as I am having a difficult time finding information on this type of metastatic cancer. I am looking for information on additional ways I can prevent further tumors and maintain a symptom-free quality of life.
Sue, Thank you for your encouragement. You sound like a real caring person. I just finished two years of xeloda and the last scans showed new growth. I thought I must have only a few months to live. However, by you sharing your story with me/us I feel hopeful. My oncologist tells me there are other options also. So you are right....one day at a time. I am not feeling really brave right now but with time perhaps that will change. I am on Taxol right now by IV. Tolerating pretty well. I have thought of making an appt. with a counselor so maybe I should. It would help to talk to someone neutral.
I was diagnosed with this cancer in December of 2012. I have do not tumors (they say this is a rare cancer). I went to the hospital because of severe back pain. I have read up so much but felt quiet alone in my area. I do not have the battle scars of all of the ladies in the support group I went to so I feel a little out of place. Right now I am on medication to lower the estrogen. Reading as much as I can on diet and eating more vegetables now than ever in my lifetime. I feel good. I try to get outside to walk daily and have dabbled in light weights. Scared but taking one day at a time. thank you all for your thoughts.
Yes, Anna, it is true. I have now lived 8 years with the mestastises (sp) and doing relatively well with pain meds. I do not feel 100% but still enjoy life and my family, quilt, knit and crochet. Taking it one day at a time is good advice. I also see a therapist periodically when I am down or troubled. I have it throughout my spine, in a few ribs, from my pelvis to my knees and in both lungs - and there are still treatment options when Xgeva and faslodex no longer work. I will be praying for all of you.
My aggressive hr2 breast cancer hit me like a ton of bricks just as I was starting grad school at age 52. Thought I'd beat it--get thru it & get back to school but the chemo & other drugs 'cleaned' my brain, triggered menopause, got bald, got neuropathy in hands & feet, elevated my cholesterol, flipped me into diabetes which I control with diet), gave me pulmonary embolisms (I'll be on coumadin & TED hose forever), then metastasized into the bones 8 yrs later and then I got 2 different types of breast cancer in the other breast 10 yrs after the 1st. Fortunately,they were not the aggressive types & were found early thanks to the PET scans that were used to monitor the bone cancer. I've been in remission most of the time on excemestane, but had to switched to Falsodex shots every mo. Unfortunately, Medicare cuts have limited PET scans to 3 per life time & the other monitoring options are not as effective, dose me with more radiation, more time consuming, more discomfort and more expensive--go figure. I'm also on Zomeda now-- and kind of in limbo about remission as these diagnostic tools(bone scan, CT scan & MRI of spine) are not as definitive as the PET.
My pain levels have been tolerable without drugs(I've started chiropractic care for subluxation & it helps, to my surprise), my hair is thinning but still there and am grateful for every day. I hope to monitor some classes at U of A in a free senior program & substitute teach but am busy with treatments, my Mom, kids, grandkids, gardening & living. My faith is strong & I just keep on as best I can.
Good Luck, Blessings and prayers for each of you struggling with this & other challenges.
I have had similar experience. Breast cancer in 1994. Did chemo and breast removal. Next battle was 2006 when it went to bone in spine. I had radiation and have been doing zometa since. Keep the faith. Each day is a blessing. Darlene
Today is a sad day. My hair started to fall out in bunches by this evening it is very thin and I hate my looks. I have a wig but not happy with it. So much for the pity trip. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002 and 2006 and then in 2012 metastat8c to the bone in spine, rib, and now sacrum. Making it necessary to move me off of xeloda (which worked for two and half years) The latest PET scan showed growth where it had been shrinking Iam now on Taxol infusions. Had my third one yesterday. Have no idea what the doctor will use next if does not work. It is emotionally draining. I had hoped to live a long life along with my loving husband. Perhaps today is just one of those down days but each change is of concern. All we can do is have Faith that we will not be given more than we can handle. I called my doctor at Mayo and his nurse called me back immediately and said he would be happy to talk to me but needed an update from my doctor here since he had not seen me for two and half years. Can you imagine that kind of service. It is great. The only problem is at this end. they have not sent him what he asked for. I am afraid to ask her again as I need treatment and do not want to offend. I know Mayo has treatments and research that the smaller centers do not. Fortunately, I am not in pain. I am told that one can live for many years with this condition? Is that true? Thanks for letting me unload.
I, too, am living with metastasized breast cancer to the bone. Pain is the key issue. I receive shots of faslodex and Xgeva monthly to reduce estrogen and strengthen bones. So far, so good. Original cancer was in 1993 and recurrence in 2006. I have survived far longer than expected. Hooray for me! The journey is not an easy one.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and diagnosed with metastatic bone cancer in July of 2013. I had pallative radiation to the pelvis and spine in July, am taking Arimedex daily and Zometa infusions once a month. I have recently had numbness issues with the Zometa, so I did not have my last infusion to see if this helped the problem. Hopefully, this treatment will help since this cannot becured.
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