Bone metastasis

Bone metastasis occurs when cancer cells spread from their original site to a bone. Nearly all types of cancer can spread (metastasize) to the bones. But some types of cancer are particularly likely to spread to bone, including breast cancer and prostate cancer.

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 bone metastasis may occur years after cancer treatment.

Bone metastasis can cause pain and broken bones. With rare exceptions, cancer that has spread to the bones can't be cured. Treatments can help reduce pain and other symptoms of bone metastases.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors

Signs and symptoms of bone metastasis include:

  • Bone pain
  • Broken bones
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Bowel incontinence
  • Weakness in the legs
  • High levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia), which can cause nausea, vomiting and confusion

When to see a doctor

If you experience persistent signs and symptoms that worry you, make an appointment with your doctor. If you've been treated for cancer in the past, tell your doctor about your medical history and that you're concerned about your signs and symptoms.

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