Overview 

When the cancer cells have spread into the bones, this condition is called bone metastasis. The cause of the spread of some cancers is uncertain and it’s still unknown why they invade the bones (not the liver where metastasis commonly occurs).

Bone metastasis can be a sign that you currently have cancer or it may occur in later years after treatment. Almost all types of cancer can metastasize to the bones but those that are most likely may spread to the bones are breast cancer and prostate cancer. Cancer cells invading bone commonly spread to the spine, pelvis and thigh bones but generally, it can spread to any bones in the body.

Bone metastasis often causes bone pain and fracture. Most of the time, a cancer that has metastasized into the bones in later stages cannot be cured but can only be treated by alleviating the pain and symptoms.

Symptoms 

Although bone metastasis may not have any signs and symptoms every so often, the following may indicate to have the condition:

    • Pain in the bones
    • Bone fracture
    • Involuntary urination
    • Inability to control bowel movement
    • Legs or arms weakness
    • Nausea, vomiting, constipation or confusion due to high blood calcium levels.

If you are worried that you have any of these symptoms, consult a doctor for proper medical history taking (inform your doctor of any past cancer treatment), diagnosis, and treatment.

Risk factors 

These are common types of cancer most likely lead to bone metastasis:

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