Bone metastasis: symptoms, treatment, life expectancy, prognosis, is it possible to cure

Metastases cancerous tumours in the bones: is there any chance and what is the prognosis?

Bone metastases are a serious complication of cancer disease. Usually the development of the pathology points to the last fourth stage of cancer.

In cases where the disease is running, and metastases are already entrenched deeply in the bones life expectancy is insignificant and is only a few months.

Metastases are characterized by lesions of bone cancer cells. The abnormal cells get into the bone through blood circulation or lymph flow.

Since the role of bone in the big body (musculoskeletal function, accumulation of minerals and so on), its failure adversely affects the quality of life of cancer patients.

Most often, the appearance of metastasis in the bones occurs during the initial development of the following types of cancer:

  • of the breast;
  • prostate;
  • lungs;
  • thyroid;
  • kidneys.

Although bone metastases can appear in lesions with cancer of other organs. Most often pathology develops in the ribs, spine, skull and femur, humerus and the pelvic bones.

The development and growth of bone metastases

The occurrence of bone metastases is associated with a feature of the human body — a constant bone formation. Is this process due to two types of cells:

  • the osteoclasts (responsible for breaking down and absorption of bone cells);
  • the osteoblasts (responsible for producing new bone tissue).

When a person is healthy, then approximately every 10 years there is a complete update of the bone tissue.

With the defeat of bone by cancer cells is disturbed the mechanism of action of osteoclasts and osteoblasts.

Depending on the type of lesion, bone metastasis cells there are two types:

  1. In osteolytic type of cancer cells affect osteoclasts, so there is a thinning of bone tissue, accompanied by frequent fractures upon the slightest exertion.
  2. Osteoblastic type is characterized by lesions of osteoblasts. In this regard, it is noted an unnatural increase in bone tissue, the appearance of growths and other tumors. Most often patients suffer from mixed type, when at the same time, thinning bones and appearance of bone tumors.
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Symptoms and characteristics

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Sometimes earlier appearance of bone metastases are asymptomatic, but in most cases, the pathology is accompanied by bouts of severe pain, which is constantly increasing.

Explains the appearance of pain because the number of mutated tissue is constantly growing, and so is the compression of the nerve endings.

Also, increased intraosseous pressure. Almost always pathology is accompanied by impaired motor function of the body.

The main symptoms penetrated into the bone metastasis include:

  1. Frequent pathological fractures. Bones break at the slightest exertion, which greatly exhausted.
  2. Local changes, which are manifested by swelling or formation of one or more dense areas in the site of the lesion.
  3. Hypercalcemia – content in the blood excessive amount of calcium. Life-threatening phenomenon, as it affects heart rate, can cause kidney failure or other fatal disease.
  4. Compression syndrome is compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots, as well as damage to the nervous system. Leads to impaired mobility, and sometimes to paralysis.
  5. A manifestation of intoxication. To indicate intoxication syndrome can apathy, depression, lethargy, chronic fatigue, weakness, nausea, loss of appetite and so on.

Diagnostic methods

For diagnostic use different research methods:

  1. The x-rays. Applies to the most simple and available diagnostic method. The main drawback of the use of x-rays is that with its help it is impossible to detect the pathology at an early stage.
  2. CT. Thanks to the digital processing x-ray data, the physician receives information about the extent and boundaries of the bone lesion.
  3. Magnetic resonance imaging. Radiation radiological waves helps to determine the extent of metastatic bone tissue. Allows you to see the full picture of the disease.
  4. Scintigraphy. The method is based on determination of the accumulation of cancer cells special radioactive isotope. Application of the method allows to accurately determine the location of metastases.
  5. Biochemical analysis of blood. The study defined excessive calcium in the blood.
  6. Biopsy. The method allows accurate diagnosis, since the study determined the identity of the bone tissue to a certain type. Material for biopsy is taken under local anesthesia, and then immediately sent for cytological and histological examination.
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The choice of method may depend on the characteristics of the disease (patient’s complaints) and medical equipment of the clinic.

The goals and methods of therapy

Despite the fact that the prognosis of the metastases in the bones, in most cases negative, hang your head and refuse treatment impossible.

Treatment measures in the early stages make life much easier for the patient and increase his chance at life. If diagnosed metastases, infiltrated into the bone, the treatment should start immediately.

On order

The main objectives in the treatment of metastases:

  • reduce the pain;
  • the destruction of cancer cells and preventing their reproduction;
  • freedom from intoxication;
  • treatment of concomitant diseases (eg, fractures).

Be sure to treatment of the primary cancer, regardless of its location.


In order to cure bone metastases are used following methods:

  1. Chemotherapy. The use of cytotoxic drugs in most cases stops the development of pathology. Rarely, a decrease in tumor tissue. The main drawback of chemotherapy is the presence of a large number of side effects.
  2. Radiation therapy. The method is aimed at the destruction of cancer cells by using x-ray irradiation. In cases of isolated education pathology radiation therapy has good results. While many lesions can be observed long-term remission.
  3. Drug therapy. Metastasis of cancer into the bone, apply bisphosphonate. These preparations helps to restore the bone tissue.

Often the doctor recommends the highest efficiency, to combine the drug with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. In addition, the patient is prescribed medications, which is aimed at reducing pain and adjuvants for enhancing the protective forces of the body.

But to resort to the treatment folk remedies is not necessary, because such actions may be aggravated by even greater complications. You must act according to the recommendations and advice of the doctor-oncologist.

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Prognosis and life expectancy

In most cases, when the diagnosis of metastases the prognosis is poor. The presence of pathology indicates cancer the fourth stage.

The life expectancy of these patients ranges from three months to a year, in rare cases, the patient manages to live two years.

The duration of the life metastases in bone tissues are affected:

  • treatment of primary cancer;
  • stage of development;
  • features of the flow.

The sooner the discovered pathology, the more chances of life, so early diagnosis and correctly prescribed treatment play a key role in this issue.

In order to prevent

The main point in the prevention of metastases in bones is the diagnosis of the primary tumor at early stages. This allows timely initiation of treatment to stop the multiplication of cancer cells and the defeat of other organs.

An important role is also played by the correct treatment aimed at the destruction of abnormal cells and increase the body’s resistance to disease.

To reduce the risk of disease, you need to follow all doctor’s recommendations with regards to diet, physical activity, medication and so on.

Bone metastasis is a severe complication of cancer, which is accompanied by unpleasant symptoms. With the development of pathology projections for the life of a small.

But if to diagnose the complication and begin treatment, increased the duration and improved the quality of life of the patient.