Metastatic Bone Cancer

Submitted by Nic on October 16, 2012

Metastatic bone cancer is an advanced form of the original cancer in which the cancerous cells have spread out and involved other nearby structures and organs as well. When cancer spreads from its point of origin to other places in the body, it is known as metastasis. The cell structure and histology of the primary cancer cells and the metastasized cells is usually the same. Metastatic bone cancer in the chest area may reach the lungs and in that case, it is called metastasized bone cancer and not lung cancer.


Since the expression of the cancer cells remains the same in case of metastasis, the symptoms of metastatic bone cancer are the same as that of bone cancer. However, since there may be involvement of other, more vital organs in the body, the range of symptoms may include the specific organs as well. For instance, the symptoms of lung cancer may be seen when the cancer has metastasized to the lung. Some people with metastasized bone cancer may not have any symptoms at all. The type and severity of the symptoms are usually dependent on the size of the metastasized tumors and the location.

Survival Rate

Metastatic bone cancer survival rate is lower than that of primary cancer. This is because metastasis usually occurs when the cancer is in its later stages. When the cancer has proliferated to the vital organs, destruction of cancer cells becomes slightly more difficult. The metastasis could also cause the cancer cells to grow in places where they become inoperable.

In such cases, the treatment of the cancer becomes very difficult and palliative care needs to be given. In addition, the condition may grow worse and the chances of recurrence increase as well.


Metastatic bone cancer treatment is usually performed in phases. Some of the most common treatments for bone cancer metastasis include systemic therapy using treatment methods such as biological therapy, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy. Radiation and surgery may also be used in localized areas when the tumors are sizable and operable. The doctor suggests the cancer treatment based on the size and location of the bone cancer. The patient’s general health and age will also be important contributing factors in deciding the treatment method.

Of late, the methods of diagnosis and treatment of metastatic bone cancer have improved. Researchers are always working on new and more viable treatment methods so that the survival rates can be improved.


  • http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Sites-Types/Fs6_20.pdf
  • http://www.cancer.med.umich.edu/cancertreat/tissue_bone/bone_metastasis.shtml
  • http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Sites-Types/metastatic
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