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Facts about Bone Metastases

Cancer that starts in one part of the body can sometimes spread and invade other areas of the body. If a tumor spreads to the bone, this new cancer deposit is called a bone metastasis.

  • When bone metastases occur, they are sometimes called “bone cancer”. However, in nearly all cases, bone metastases are a result of the spread of the original cancer to the bone. So instead of having both bone cancer and breast cancer, for example, a person has breast cancer that has spread to the bone.
  • Cancers that may spread to the bone include, but are not limited to, breast, kidney, lung, prostate and thyroid. Multiple myeloma, a disease characterized by uncontrolled growth of white blood cells called plasma cells, can also involve the bones.
  • Cancer treatments have improved in recent years, allowing many patients to live longer with cancer than ever before. Unfortunately, bone metastases may still occur in many patients sometimes months or even years after an original cancer diagnosis. There are many treatment options available for patients with bone metastases to try to provide relief and to suppress local disease.
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